In the next patch, 5.4, not only are Russian cruisers being added, but also yet another ship consumable. This one is Surveillance Radar, available to Tier8, 9, and 10 Russian and American cruisers.
What it does is extend the range at which ships (but not torpedoes) are automatically detected, regardless of smoke or other concealment. Pretty obviously, this is meant to help cruisers find and sink destroyers – but, in my opinion, it’s just too powerful. Destroyers have no way of avoiding cruisers with this ability unless they stay out of their generally effective range – meaning no torpedoes – and smoke can’t help them.
Hydroacoustic Search, while based on the same principles, isn’t quite as bad – simply because it has a much shorter range and actually requires that you be somewhat near a destroyer already. In other words, it’s a tool that helps in the task you’re already trying to accomplish; from what it seems, Surveillance Radar is essentially a “Find DD” button you can press whenever and defeat the concealment of any destroyers within up to almost 12km of you.
Here are the exact stats for it, for each ship that gets the consumable:
New Orleans: duration 30s, acquisition range 9.0km
Baltimore: duration 35s, acquisition range 9.4km
Des Moines: duration 40s, acquisition range 9.9km
Chapayev: duration 20s, acquisition range 9.9km
Dmitry Donskoy: duration 25s, acquisition range 10.8km
Moskva: duration 30s, acquisition range 11.7km
The recharge time for the consumable is 360s for all ships that carry it. Looks like the Soviets get a longer range, while Americans get longer duration.
Hopefully WG will do a public test again soon so we can check out the effects of Surveillance Radar on battles, but right now I’m not exactly in favour of it. It’ll need either a serious nerf, a rework, or complete removal if it functions as it looks like it will.