The 110 ft SC-497 is a rank II American sub-chaser with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB) and 2.0 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X" as part of the fleet closed beta test.
Survivability and armour
Being a wooden-hulled ship, the SC-497 will not be able to handle much gunfire. Her only armour consists of 1/2 inch (12.7mm) anti-fragmentation armour on the three Oerlikon mounts. As a result, her survivability is very lacking, and any firefights should be avoided if possible.
In terms of vital components, the SC-497 doesn't fare well either. Her gun ammunition magazines lie completely above the water, meaning that any precisely-made shots from an enemy craft could detonate your ammunition storage. The engines are lower-mounted in the hull, but could still possibly be damaged by well-placed hits. The SC-497 has just 22 crewmen, which is rather mediocre for a ship of it's class. In general, survivability isn't your strength, and any firefights should be avoided if possible.
Manoeuvrability is very good for size (if a bit slow). Turn, start, stop, all happen quick enough to counter threats, duck into cover, or get ideal fire angles.
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Modifications and economy
This ship is armed with an excellent 40mm Bofors gun. The gun is great at clearing out PT boats, and with good aim can pop PT boats in a single hit with ammo detonations. The gun however does jam quite often under sustained fire. Use the default mixed belt as it gives a good balance between AP and HE shells.
The ship has three Oerlikon 20mm cannons for a secondary armament. These are great guns that will deal well against aircraft and PT boats, but they will rip into larger ships with ease. As with the Bofors, keep them on the default mixed belt for the same reasons listed above.
The ship has "Mouse cage" (like "Hedgehog") charge launchers and depth charges. These are not very useful, and can be detonated by enemy gunfire. However, they pack a large punch if aimed right at close range.
Usage in battles
She is an incredibly well balanced ship in game. Small, good speed, powerful weapons, manoeuvrable.
Use her as your first boat or your last in the match. The highly accurate and powerful 40 mm Bofors will let you pick off the small, fast torpedo boats as they rush a cap. One can also get early damage to larger ships, but do not stay exposed for too long. The 40 mm can overheat but quickly cools down. Toward the end of the matches players often take out small boats or aircraft, and that is where SC-497 shines. The cluster of 3 x 20 mm will easily take down any aircraft that comes close. Equipping depth charges is very individual as successful use depends on playstyle. As long as one uses her smartly, one will do brilliantly.
Pros and cons
- Powerful 40 mm Bofors gun forward mount with excellent fire arc.
- Excellent AA defence with 3 x 20 mm cannons
- Option to use depth charges, K-gun (side launched) and forward firing "Hedgehog" like "Mousetrap" mortar depth charges.
- Small size, hard to hit
- Very good manoeuvrability for size
- Wooden hull (floats longer if damaged)
- Full calibre AP shells tend to pass right trough without causing too much damage due to the light armour, APHE shells cant even trigger their fuse
- Wooden hull (no protection from fire)
- No armour, can be easily shredded by heavy machine guns, when close enough even light machine guns can go trough
- Average speed, even when fully upgraded
- 40 mm gun may over heat
- Depth charges have limited use, could cause ammo explosions if hit.
- Mousetrap range is too short to be useful.
- No artillery control.
The SC-497 is the first of the 110 foot long, wooden hull sub-chaser class closely based on the experimental SC-493. She was built by the Fisher Boat Company of Detroit, possibly a forgotten division of the gargantuan General Motors manufacturing conglomerate. Eventually 438 units where built and used worldwide and extensively as one of the "Splinter fleet" (for its wooden hull). It was eventually decided to call wooden hull boats sub-hunters "SC" (steel hull were called PC). One third (142) of this boats were lent to allies as part of the Lend-Lease program, with 78 to the Soviet Union, 50 to France, 8 to Brazil, 3 to Mexico, and 3 to Norway. The three for Norway was shipped (placed on a ship and literally shipped) to UK and given to the Free Norwegian navy used for supplying resistance groups in Norway. Service continued a few years after the war, others sold to other navies serving for a few more years before eventually disappearing. Today only 2 exist, the charter boat MV Cape Pine, and the Royal Norwegian Navy HNoMS Hitra (formerly SC-718) which is in her WW2 configuration (she is active RN boat, but operates as a museum).
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