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Transport units
Tech 1 Light Air TransportUEA0107 build btn.pngURA0107 build btn.pngUAA0107 build btn.pngXSA0107 build btn.png
Tech 2 Air TransportUEA0104 build btn.pngURA0104 build btn.pngUAA0104 build btn.pngXSA0104 build btn.png
Tech 2 GunshipUEA0203 build btn.pngNo-unit.pngNo-unit.pngNo-unit.png
Tech 3 Heavy Air TransportXEA0306 build btn.pngNo-unit.pngNo-unit.pngNo-unit.png

Transport units are airborne units capable of carrying land units. They can load, unload, ferry and assist.

Use[edit | edit source]

Transports are commonly employed for one of the following purposes:

  • drop units behind enemy defenses (unsafe for the transports)
  • get units from factories to front lines faster (usually safe for the transports)
  • move units across bodies of water (very common on campaign maps).

Ferry[edit | edit source]

Ferrying is the act of creating an automatic transport route. Create one by clicking the ferry button, and telling your transport where to go (you can command several in a row, resulting in a curved ferry, to avoid enemy lines, for example. Be careful though, as your transports will usually halt briefly over these connecting points).

Once this is done, if you tell a unit to move to a ferry point, your transports will automatically transport it to the other end. This does not work in the original supreme commander game however

See Ferry for more information.

Assist[edit | edit source]

You can tell air transports to assist a factory. They will automatically load units from the factory, and take them to the factory's way point.

Carrying capacities[edit | edit source]

Clamps[edit | edit source]

The Cybran Skyhook: Tech 1 Light Air Transport loading a Rhino.

Depending on the size of the air transport, these can have different amounts of transport clamps. The simple rule is that it takes 1 clamp to carry a tech 1 unit, two clamps to carry a tech 2 unit and 4 clamps to carry a tech 3 unit.

Rails[edit | edit source]

Things get more complicated when you consider that these clamps are layed out in rails. These rails make it possible (or impossible) for higher tier units to be able to use all available clamps, and thus prevent the transport from functioning at full capacity. For example, the UEF C-6 Courier has two rails of 3 clamps each. When carrying tech 2 units, clamps must be on the same rail. Because of this the UEF C-6 Courier can only carry two tech 2 units, because the last two clamps cannot be used (you can fill them with tech1 1 units though). Also, for example, the Aeon Aluminar, with its 12 clamps, can carry 6 tech 2 units, but no more than 2 tech 3 units.

Note to modders: the number of units that can be carried by a transport is primarily dictated by the number of bones in the model for a given type of unit, while the code can limit the maximum number of units (of a given tech level) on the transport. For example, while the UEF Continental can technically only carry 6 tech 3 units, it can be modified (without changing the model) to hold a whopping 10 tech 3 units.

Command units[edit | edit source]

Command units (ACUs and SACUs)are considered weighing as much as tech 3 units (4 clamps). However, tech 1 air transport units cannot carry ACUs. This was probably due to prevent players to over-aggressively bring their commanders in and out of battle. Tech 1 air transport units are fine transporting SACUs though.

Payload overview[edit | edit source]

This table should give you an overview of which transport can carry what. If a unit has space left after carrying a higher tier unit, the details about what else it can carry is provided. For example, 1T3 + 2T1 means the transport can only carry 1 tech 3 unit, and the remaining 2 clamps can only carry 2 tech 1 units, and not 1 tech 2 unit.

UEF Cybran Aeon Seraphim
Tech 1 C-6 Courier Tech 1 Skyhook Tech 1 Chariot Tech 1 Vish
6 clamps
(2 rails)
6 clamps
(2 rails)
6 clamps
(3 rails)
8 clamps
(1 rail)
Tech 1 units
Tech 2 units
Tech 3 units
2T2 + 2T1
1T3 + 2T1
2T2 + 2T1
1T3 + 2T1
1T3 + 2T1
1T3 + 2T2
Tech 2 C14 Star Lifter Tech 2 Dragon Fly Tech 2 Aluminar Tech 2 Vishala
14 clamps
(2 rails)
10 clamps
(2 rails)
12 clamps
(3 rails x2)
16 clamps
(2 rail)
Tech 1 units
Tech 2 units
Tech 3 units
6T2 + 2T1
3T3 + 2T1
4T2 + 2T1
2T3 + 2T1
2T3 + 4T1, 1T3+4T2
Tech 3 Continental
28 clamps
(2 rails x2)
Tech 1 units
Tech 2 units
Tech 3 units
12T2 + 4T1
6T3 + 4T1
Tech 2 Stinger
1 clamp
Tech 1 units
Tech 2 units

Note: Due to the way the rails fill up, the Aeon Chariot cannot carry one T3 and one T2 unit as one might hope, but can carry one T3 and two T1 units. Similarly, the Aluminar cannot carry 2T3 + 2T2 units, but it can carry 4T1 units in addition to the 2T3; the T1 units will be interleaved with the T3 units in a 2T1-T3-2T1-T3 pattern (from front to back of the Aluminar). The Aluminar restriction on carrying no T2 units if two T3s are loaded was changed in some community mods. The 1T3+4T2 pattern is possible on the stock Aluminar only if you load the 4T2 units first, otherwise the T3 unit will occupy the middle spot instead of the back spot, reducing the number of T2 units that can be still be loaded to just two.

Tech differences[edit | edit source]

What most sets apart the air transport units are their tech level. Although there are also differences with factions, these are not as influential.

Tech 1[edit | edit source]

The tech 1 air transports are lightly armored (500 HP), and have 6 transport clamps

Tech 2[edit | edit source]

The tech 2 air transports more heavily armored (about 1500 HP), and have anywhere from 10 to 16 transport clamps. These are usually lightly armed, but are usually too weak to be used in any combat fashion.

In 3603 they have more health and are cheaper as well.

Tech 3[edit | edit source]

Only the UEF have a tech 3 air transport, the Continental:Heavy Air Transport. This transport is very heavily armored, has some decent anti-air weaponry and ground weaponry, and features no less than 28 clamps on 4 rails. It is basically two C14 Star Lifter in one, so even with 28 clamps, it can only carry a maximum of 6 tech 3 units, with the remaining 4 clamps only able to carry tech 1 units. A full review of the unit is available at UEF T3 Heavy Air Transport.

Factional differences[edit | edit source]

Regardless of faction, each air transport cost the same and have about the same health for each tech level. Further more, the weapons on the transports are largely irrelevant, making their carrying capacities the only thing that sets them apart. The main differences are:

  • Seraphim - The Seraphim transports are by far the best in the game. Not only do they have much larger carrying capacities, they almost always work at maximum capacities.
  • UEF - The UEF transports come second with a slightly above average carrying capacity, and a good clamp layout.
  • Aeon - The Aeon are average. What really sets them apart is their tech 1 Chariot, which can carry 3 tech 2 units, or 1 tech 3 unit and 1 tech 2 unit, making it more efficient than other factions' transports. On the other hand, their tech 2 Aluminar cannot transport 3 tech 3 units, despite its 12 transport clamps.
  • Cybran - The Cybran transports are by far the worst transports. They are cursed with not only low carrying capacities, but also a bad clamp layout, preventing them for carrying efficiently. However, the hoplite and fire beetle are T2 units that only take up as much space as a t1 unit. This can balance it out a bit more but they are still the worst.

Resilience[edit | edit source]

Don't expect your air transport to survive attacks. It usually requires little less than 2 strafes from an interceptor to destroy one, and every unit it carries. Because of this, it is virtually impossible to protect an air transport. Your best chances are either sneaking in, or luring enemy interceptors elsewhere.

Ghetto gunship[edit | edit source]

A ghetto gunship is an air transport carrying tech 1 light assault bots, which are the only ones that can fire from a transport. This is usually a cheap and fast way to get a gunship early game. For more information, see the ghetto gunship article.

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