Updated Mon, Feb 08, 2010 by Space Junkie
Stealth bombers are a class of specialized tech two ships that have several unique capabilities, including the ability to warp while remaining cloaked, the ability to fit battleship-sized torpedo launchers, and the ability to fit special bomb launchers that fire area of effect bombs. That can also use a special module that lets black ops battleships jump other stealth-related ships into a system, avoiding the use of gates. They are essentially a combat model of Covert Ops ships.
Bombers are surprisingly easy to train into, compared to many other tech two ships, and offer many opportunities for PVP or profit. They are able to gank miners and freighters, and to vanish like a ghost afterwards. They can scout with impunity, and launch bombs to harass or destroy portions of enemy fleets. They are also very, very fun, de-cloaking like submarines rising from the water, firing a bomb, and disappearing just as quickly.
Quick and Dirty Training Guide
In order to get into the hull, you need to train any racial frigate skill to V, as well as Covert Ops I, though you will want to get that to IV or perhaps even V if you turn out to love dropping bombs.
You will also want missile skills. The following are the minimum for dropping bombs: Bomb Deployment I, Missile Bombardment IV, and Missile Launcher Operation I (or more).
This is for a pure bomber. I cover torpedo skills a bit later.
How Bombs Work
Bombs are not like other missiles in EVE Online. For starters, they are unguided. When fired, they proceed from the front of the bomber, in a straight line, and continue in a straight line for ten seconds, until they reach a distance of 30km from the original launch point, at which point the bomb detonates. The detonation inflicts a large amount of damage of a single type to any ships within 15km of the bomb when it detonates.
Bombs do not distinguish targets. It is entirely possible for a bomb to destroy the ship that launched it, if that ship is caught within the blast radius.
Each bomb inflicts 6400 raw damage, plus an additional 5% damage per level of Covert Ops skill trained. Thus, a character with Covert Ops trained to IV would inflict 7680 raw damage. The damage of each bomb is of a single type, as outlined here:
Like most weapons, bombs inflict less damage against smaller targets. A single bomb is not usually enough to kill any one ship, of any size, so cooperative effort is usually required to get serious results. Bombs can be destroyed, but because their flight time is only ten seconds, most ships cannot lock them in time, and most pilots are not ready for them. Theoretically, a very fast-locking ship like a destroyer could lock and blow one up before it detonates, but in practice this is very unlikely.
Aside from the four damaging bombs, there exist two other kinds of bombs: Void Bombs and Lockbreaker Bombs. These two bombs inflict tiny amounts of damage, but have special effects on the ships within their radius. These bombs do not have a reduced effect on smaller ships.
Void bombs sap the capacitor from the ships within its radius, to the tune of 1800 GJ. They are exceptionally useful against "remote-repair" fleets in which people rely on cooperative repairing methods. By depleting everybody's capacitor at once, it destroys their collective capability to use remote repair modules. Using a void bomb requires training Bomb Deployment IV.
Lockbreaker bombs work in a manner similar to ECM, having a random chance of breaking any locks that ships within the radius have. These are regarded as less useful than other bomb types or normal ECM, because they do not prevent re-locking for any period of time. They might conceivably be useful in large-scale fleet battles, but to the best of my knowledge no great use have been found for them. Note that the capital-class ships that they would most be useful against are usually immune to e-war. Using a lockbreaker bomb requires training Bomb Deployment III.