|“|| Away we go!|
- ORCA Fighter pilot, commencing attack run as ordered
The acronym "Orca" was officially adopted as a codename for the family of aircraft developed on the base of the original ORCA assault craft.
By the Second Tiberium War, the original concept was overhauled and redesigned, resulting in the creation of the Orca Fighter, which replaced most of GDI fighter jets.
The Fighter itself remains a VTOL based aerial assault vehicle, with revamped and miniaturized engines. The armor is upgraded and the craft is now armed with Hellfire missiles. The chin mounted minigun was removed from the design, as the fighter's main role is engaging armor with guided missiles, and the chaingun proved to be ineffective at killing infantry and unwieldy when used.
An additional role for the fighter is providing cover for slower, more vulnerable Orca Bombers, harassing anti-aircraft defenses until the bombers can reach their targets.
Unfortunately, the Orca Fighter is a rather terrible unit in-game. A single Orca Fighter's payload is usually insufficient for destroying most ground vehicles, the missiles are almost completely worthless against infantry, and destroying structures requires a great many Orca Fighters to accomplish. Worse yet, the Orca Fighter takes a tremendous amount of time to rearm on the GDI Helipad. In general, there's no reason to use the Orca Fighter if you have access to the Orca Bomber.
Also despite being called a "fighter", the Orca Fighter is not capable of engaging enemy air units in-game.
Orca Fighters launch their missiles in volleys of two and shift position a short distance between each volley, which may lead them into or out of the range of anti-aircraft fire.