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Orca (Tiberian Dawn)

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ORCA Assault Craft
TD ORCA Assault Craft
  • GDI
  • Nod (briefly, acquired blueprints)


  • Dragon TOW missiles
  • Gatling gun


Hit points




Build time




Air speed


TD ORCA Assault Craft Icons

The ORCA Assault Craft is a multi-purpose support gunship of the Global Defence Initiative, appearing in Tiberian Dawn.


Employing a set of twin articulated jet engines as propulsion in place of the classic rotary wing, the ORCA has incredible maneuverability. These advantages came at the expense of armour, allowing the Orca to withstand only a few missile hits, provided it didn't outrun these missiles first.

The craft is armed with two weapons - a six barreled, forward mounted gatling gun (equipped with a searchlight) and a pair of Dragon TOW missile launchers on its sides, each containing nine rockets. Some later models had two forward mounted machine guns. Be advised, the gun is somewhat inoperable in game.

Its compact design allows it to fit in small passages such as canyons with ease, as well as be transported and deployed from freight trucks or specially designed resupply and transportation trucks. The fuselage dimensions limit the crew size to only a single pilot, limiting the craft's performance in combat somewhat.


During the Second Tiberium War, these units were succeeded by the Orca Fighter.

While it had its drawbacks, the design proved so effective during the First Tiberium War, that it served as a basis for GDI's air forces design up to the Third Tiberium War. It was found to be particularly effective against Nod M2 Bradleys and buggies, as they had no anti aircraft capability.


CNC1 Nod Emblem The following is based on the Nod campaign of Tiberian Dawn and some details might contradict canon.

Nod acquired the Orca during the Campaign in Africa, taking over a test facility - however, due to the engines emitting too much heat and being extremely vulnerable to IR tracking missiles, and the costs associated with fuel, Nod chose not to produce the Orca. However, they did keep the blueprints after their assault.[1]


The Orca is GDI's airborne unit in Tiberian Dawn, flying at high speeds and outfitted with rockets.

Cut Content

Initially, there was a special mobile helipad to appear in the game, but it was cut.


In the opening cutscene for the Nod mission, ORCA Theft, Seth mistakenly addressed the Orca as a "new helicopter". It is possible that the Orca's VTOL technology was so advanced for its time that it was widely perceived as a type of helicopter by Nod intelligence.



  • Effective against vehicles and buildings
  • Very fast.
  • Powerful in numbers.
  • One of the best army harassment, lethal threat to harvesters if undefended
  • A synchronized attack from 4 Orca can destroy a SAM site in a single shot without taking any damage.


  • Poorly armoured.
  • Ineffective against infantry
  • Must return to Helipad for reloading
  • Limited production on each Helipad
  • Ineffective against fast moving units
  • Relatively expensive




  1. Dialogue clips in Always.dat: m00gnod_gcon0017r3nors_snd.wav and several others near it
GDI icon test ORCA Aircraft GDI icon test
CNC1 GDI Emblem Global Defense Initiative First Tiberium War Arsenal CNC1 GDI Emblem

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