VIPER Mk VII
Viper Mk VII
Type: Space superiority fighter
-Length: 9.8m (32.3ft)
-Height: 3m (9.7ft)
-Wingspan: 5.6m (18.4ft)
Skill: Starfighter piloting: Viper MkVII
Crew Skill: Communications 3D, sensors 4D, starfighter piloting 4D+2, starship gunnery 4D+1
Cargo Capacity: 4 kilograms
Consumables: 1 week (emergency pack)
Cost: 200,000 Colonial credits (new)
FTL Capable: No
Nav Computer: Yes (short-ranged, carrier-based)
--Turbo-boost: 13 (see below)
-Atmosphere: 415; 1,200kmh (see below)
--Turbo-boost: 465; 1,350kmh
3 Kinetic Energy Weapons (fire-linked)
Location: Mounted forward of the wings and dorsal stabilizer
Fire Arc: Front
Crew: 1 (pilot)
Skill: Starship gunnery
Fire Control: 3D+2
Space Range: 1-4/15/27
Atmosphere Range: 100-400/1.5/2.7km
Ammo: 800 round magazine
Rate of Fire: 1 (Autofire, Ammo Depletion 1Dx10)
Special: These weapons fire on Autofire. For details, see D6
Firearms in Supplements for extra rules, or use these here as is.
2 Wing-Mounted Hardpoints
Weapons per hardpoint:
-4 Missiles (8 Total)
-1 Nuclear Warhead (2 Total)
-1 Anti-Walker Munitions Pod (2 Total)
-1 Anti-Speeder Munitions Pod (2 Total)
-1 1,600 Round KEW Ammo Drum (for the Wing Cannons, above; 2 Total)
Location: 1 hardpoint under each wing
Fire Arc: Front (All weapons)
Crew: 1 (pilot)
Skill: Starship gunnery
-Nuclear Warhead: Capital
-Munitions Pods: Walker or Speeder
-Nuclear Warhead: 0D
-Munitions Pods (Walker): 4D
-Munitions Pods (Speeder): 5D
-Nuclear Warhead: 1/3/7
-Munitions Pods (Walker): 1/3/6
-Munitions Pods (Speeder): 1-2/8/16
-Nuclear Warhead: 100/300/700m
-Munitions Pod (Walker): 30-100/300/600m
-Munitions Pod (Speeder): 20-200/800.1.6km
-Nuclear Warhead: 10D (Blast Radius: 10D/9D/8D)
-Munitions Pod (Walker): 8D
-Munitions Pod (Speeder): 7D
-Missiles: 4 per rack/hardpoint; 8 total; 18 with dorsal bay
-Nuclear Warhead: 1 per hardpoint; 2 total; 3 with dorsal bay
-Munitions Pod (Walker): 30 rockets/rounds per pod; 60 total
-Munitions Pod (Speeder): 300 rounds
Rate of Fire:
-Missiles: 1 to max number of missiles (8 or 16)
-Nuclear Warhead: 1 to max number of missiles (2 or 3)
-Munitions Pod (Walker): 1 to max number of rockets (30 to 60)
-Munitions Pod (Speeder): 1 to 3, or Autofire (see D6 Forearms in
The Viper Mark VII is the
Colonial Fleet's latest update to the
venerable Viper Mark II primary space superiority
fighter / attack craft.
TURBO-BOOST: The Viper has turbo boosters that can temporarily increase
its speed in combat. When used, the pilot can get up to +3 to its speed
(space 13). When the pilot uses the Boost option on their control
stick, the fighter will increase in speed by +1 per round, to a max of
+3 (13). The pilot must make a Stamina check when doing this, starting
at Moderate, and increasing by one Difficulty Level per round, as the
Speed increases at the same time, to Very Difficult. Failure means the
pilot blacks out for 1D+2 rounds. This represents the extreme G-forces
at play when the pilot does this.
WEAPONS: Though the Viper Mk VII has many improvements over the Mk II in
performance and weapons, it is never said if it ever had the missile in
the dorsal storage bay stated as part of the Mk II's design. However,
this could be because of the additional KEW on the dorsal stabilizer,
which would be the likely reason. However, the Mk VII does have the
hardpoints to mount weapons just like the Mk II and is still a powerful
fighter by itself.
MODIFICATIONS: Also, it is noted that the Viper Mk VII is harder to fly
since it was modified to resist Cylon electronic attacks, removing
systems meant to aid in flight control. Because of this, all skill
rolls for the Mk VII is one difficulty higher than normal for
starfighters and starships. This makes them effectively immune to Cylon
electronic attack, at the cost of difficulty for the pilot. This
counts for the difficulty in weapons range, maneuvers, but not hull dice
rolls. Some GMs may even make dodging skills require a +5 to their
Difficulty, though with the Mk VII's maneuverability, this isn't very
hard to do, even against Cylon raiders.
Capable of atmospheric flight, the Mark
VII is the front-line
variant of the Viper design, retaining the Mark II's general layout but
adding fully integrated avionics that provide superior battle management
and flight information for the pilot.
Ironically, it is this incorporation of new integrated systems
that prevents the majority of Mark VIIs from being effective during the
Cylon attack: as with the
majority of Colonial Fleet, the Mark VIIs suffer fatal computer system
failures on contact with Cylon forces. Thanks to a Cylon agent's
relationship with Dr. Gaius Baltar, scientist and programmer of the
software project, the navigational software in use on
board most Colonial Fleet vessels contains back-doors that allow the
Cylons to infiltrate a vessel's computers by wireless
signals and to disable its power systems. Though this problem can be
overcome by removing the navigational upgrade compromised by the Cylons,
the information is not discovered in time to benefit the surprised and
hard-pressed Colonial forces.
Being a single-seat craft, it mounts three forward-facing kinetic
energy weapons (KEWs). In addition, it
possesses hard-points beneath the wings for mounting missiles, munitions
pods and other ordnance (The Hand of God).
The Mark VII cockpit is almost totally computerized. There are far
fewer analog gauges and more reliance is placed on a powerful central
flight computer. This gives the Mark VII pilot far greater control of
the fighter as well as, presumably, greater targeting control in a
However, the latest and last software upgrade, the CNP upgrade, introduces a fatal flaw
by a Cylon agent) in the Mark VII
that leads to the virtual annihilation of most of these fighters in the
opening wave of the Cylon attack.
The surviving Mark VII fighters on both Galactica and Pegasus are retrofitted to older avionics
packages to replace the compromised CNP and eliminate further
As of "Scar", Pegasus has begun to use her on board
construction facilities to produce replacement Vipers. Materials mined
in an asteroid field allow the production of two full squadrons.
Additionally, since Pegasus joined the Fleet, Mark IIs have been
steadily phased out in favor of retrofitted Mark VIIs.
The Mark VII's main weapons are three forward-facing cannons, two
the wings and one in the vertical stabilizer. Typically, it is only the
wing-mounted cannons that are used.
Like the Mark II, it can also be armed with missiles.
While the Mark II can rotate 180 degrees vertically in .35 seconds
(Act of Contrition), it is presumed that the Mark VII
has an equal or better performance ratio.
Given that the Mark II is capable of holding its own even against
superior numbers of modern Cylon Raiders, the more advanced Mark VII
probably also has an equal or superior performance as Raiders in the
hands of a capable pilot.
OTHER DESIGN FEATURES
The Viper Mark VII has primary and secondary hydraulics, the
system presumably acting as a redundant backup for mission-critical
prime system. Damage to
both systems does not significantly compromise the Viper's performance
as a space combat craft, provided the pilot is sufficiently skilled to
manage the changed flight characteristics (Scar).
The consequences of the loss of both systems in atmospheric flight would
undoubtedly be far more dire.
-Since Galactica only had 40 Viper Mark IIs aboard as part of
museum, they needed as many fighters as possible. The remaining Mark
VII's advanced computer systems were refitted to resist Cylon
infiltration. However, since this is not how the Mark VII was designed
to fly, the craft is increasingly more difficult to handle and can only
be flown by the most experienced pilots such as Apollo and Starbuck.
Galactica had roughly 6-8 Mark VIIs on board after the Cylon
attack ("Scattered", "Flight of the Phoenix").
-According to David Weddle during the "Scar" podcast the Mark VII
cockpit design "was
actually laid out based on, I think it's either the F-16 or the F-18."
The side-mounted control stick more
closely resembles that of the F-16, which is appropriate given the
"Viper" nickname of the jet (that was initially the General Dynamics
codename for the project, which was in turn named for the TOS Viper).
-Also revealed in the podcast for "Scar" is that the
full cockpit interior for the Viper Mark VII was built for this episode.
"Flight of the Phoenix" had paved the way for the construction of the
full cockpit when "the line producers and the production designers
figure[d] out ways to move money around that basically bought us this
cockpit because we had built the stealth fighter." The cockpit interior
may have been constructed at the
same time the Blackbird was being built.
-Like the Original Series' Viper, the weapons fire of
Vipers on the Re-Imagined Series is red, however, the button is on the
center of the joystick for the Mark VII, and the left for the Mark II
-According to Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion,
when creating the design of
the Viper Mark VII, Gary Hutzel took a pre-existing design from the 2003
video game loosely
based on a mix of the Original Series and upcoming Miniseries, then "did
some modifications, and
that became the Viper Mark VII".
-As of "Maelstrom", a new exterior design
for the Viper Mk VII is being used. It is characterized by angular air
intakes - with three intakes on the ventral side as opposed to the
original's single intake - and a compressed forward fuselage.
Additionally, the new version possesses a drab gray hue that differs
from the original's gunmetal-gray coloration. Due to the fact that all
Mark VII fighters seen since "Maelstrom" display the later appearance,
it was surmised that this was a retroactive update
rather than a variant of an existing ship.
--However, a shot taken from "Razor"
displays both variants in action. Starbuck's Viper (in the foreground)
is of the redesigned variant, while Showboat's Viper (in the back) is
version - characterized by gunmetal-gray armoring and the sleek forward
fuselage. Taking this visual into account, it may be alternatively
concluded that there are two versions of the Viper Mk VII (with the
newer design perhaps being a product of Pegasus' Viper production
Accepting this conclusion would partly explain why the Mk VIIs present
on Galactica's hangar deck bear the original
appearance while those seen in action do not - there would no longer be a
design conflict between the physical model and the CGI version of the
craft. However, for sequences where an actor climbs into the physical
model but is subsequently seen flying the new version (as it happens in
"Crossroads, Part II" and "He That Believeth In Me" for
example) the discrepancy is still present.