Thursday, January 28, 2010

Colonial Fighters

Colonial Fighters are the backbone of the Colonial Fleet.  Born out of a centuries old tradition they are the cutting edge of technology and a vital element in the Battlestar design philosophy.

Viper MK I

The Mark I Viper was a revolutionary design when first introduced.  It had superior capabilities over most other existing fighters, especially in dogfighting, but had a number of weaknesses that caused it to be phased out in favour of the MK II.  Most notably the jam prone twin 23 mm cannons proved to be too light to deal effectively with Cylon Raiders.  Despite these limitations the MK I remained in service for most of the Cylon War, only to switch to the reserve in the final years of the war before being scrapped.  Another weakness were the landing skids that tended to break during combat landings.

Viper MK II

The Viper truly came into its own with the coming of the Mark II, faster and more reliable it carried heavier 30mm cannons that were more than capable of holding their own against Cylons.  They were the main fighters for most of the Cylon war and in the immediate post war years.  A handful remained in service with the reserve and the Orbital Guard as target tugs and ECM craft.  Most surviving examples have been transferred to the soon to be dedicated Galactica museum.

Viper MK III

The Viper Mark III was a two-seater trainer variant of the Mark II.

Viper MK IV
The Viper MKIV was a radical departure of the original Viper design.  Nearly twice the weight of the original, it was a heavily armed and armoured design, mounting powerful but unreliable engines, requiring a lot of maintenance.  A popular joke at the time claimed that the MKIV was designed to defend Batllestar flight decks against attacks from the inside.  heavily armed with a pair of wing mounted 30mm and two fuselage mounted 23mm it was designed to attack enemy Basestars and also suitable for ground attack and support as a fighter bomber.  Though only marginally less maneuverable than the other Viper designs they suffered heavy losses against Cylon Raiders, most were taken out of service after the Cylon War.  (Model by Alfred Wong

Viper MK V

The Mark V relied on the experience gained during the war to make further improvements to the design, most notably increased crew survivability and protection. They are currently used by the Reserve as the main line fighter.

Viper MK VI

The Mark VI was a near complete overhaul with radical changes which meant that it was only 20% compatible with the previous Vipers.  The resulting fighter was the first to step away from wartime avionics and to more advanced technology, but still protected from Cylon jamming and infiltration.

Viper MK VII

The Mark VII is the latest in the line of fighters and possibly the final version before the Viper is replaced by the FSSF (Future Space Superiority Fighter).  The Mark VII includes all the most advanced features seen on the latest generation of fighters, including increased stealth, a high visibility cockpit and an extra dorsal fin mounted cannon for added firepower.  The MK VII is well liked by pilots thanks to its advanced fly by wire system and advanced electronics.


The Python was a result of corruption in the Colonial Gouvernment in the days before the Cylon War.  Built by the same company that produced the Avalon Class battlestars, the Python was sold as being cheaper and more suitable for the Avalon than the Viper.  Despite a lawsuit, the outbreak of the war forced the Service to take the Python into service where it performed adequately.  The Python was withdrawn from service after the war and the surviving Avalons were converted to carry Vipers, some Pythons were purchased by private security companies and used as escorts for many years after the war.  Armed with eight 20mm cannons it had more than adequate firepower, but lacked the superior maneuverability of the Viper to bring this firepower to bear.

Cobra heavy fighter

The Cobra heavy fighter is unique in the Colonial fleet for being the only fighter equipped with a Jump Drive.  The Cobra can therefore operate independently from other vessels, though it has a limited range.  They are sometimes posted in orbital stations or ground-based, making use of booster rockets to achieve orbit.  The Cobra has a two man crew and mounts a multibarrel 30mm cannon.

Dagger Light Bomber

The delta shaped Dagger was an early stealth design, suitable for infiltration using low level flight and passive flight trajectory.  Although it was extremely fast it lacked maneuverability and was vulnerable in combat, mounting only a single 23mm cannon.  It had six hardpoints, but size limitations lead to it being withdrawn from service in favour of the Scimitar.

Scimitar Heavy Bomber

The Scimitar is the current multi-role attack Fighter, capable of bombardment, anti-ship operations and ground support.  It trades speed and maneuverability for heavy armour and mounts a pair of 37mm heavy cannon and an impressive 16 hardpoints.

Tempest Fighter

The tempest never served with the Colonial Fleet, but was in service with several Colony Air Arms.  A number of Mercenary Tempest squadrons served during the Cylon war and a good number remain in use today.  The Tempest is a dated, but solid spaceframe and suitable as a multi-role fighter bomber.  Bult primarily as a dogfighter it has been able to soldier on thanks to this feature as then more modern missile-armed fighters were rendered obsolete by Cylon technology.  The Tempest was originally armed with six 13mm heavy machineguns, but most were upgraded with 20 to 30mm cannons.

Banshee Fighter

More modern than the Tempest, the Banshee was a high speed space superiority fighter.  Designed as a dedicated missile platform it was equipped with an advanced DRADIS system linked to the HAWK long range missile system, but lacked guns.  Advances in ECM, especially Cylon jamming was the downfall of this design.  The last models soldiered on, armed with gun pods until the middle years of the Cylon War.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy reading other people's interpretations of the various BSG models out there. Any plans to do more?