Viper Mark II
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The Viper Mark II is a single seat fighter aerospace craft used by the Colonial Fleet during the First Cylon War. The fighter served with distinction, proving to be a capable fighting vehicle and winning renown across the Twelve Colonies; the Mark II is regarded as instrumental in ensuring that the Colonials did not lose the original Cylon War . Eventually, the Mark II was succeeded in service by the larger, and more advanced Viper Mark III (Blood & Chrome), in the later years of the War, however, the Mark II was still utilized by the military up to and following the Armistice (TRS: "Razor Flashbacks"). Owing to the iconic status that the Mark II achieved during its operational years, a squadron of 40 planes are chosen for preservation in the Battlestar Galactica History Museum. These Vipers are later brought back online to defend Galactica, and later its civilian fleet, following the sudden Cylon attack on the Colonies (TRS: Miniseries).
The Mark II is a long, sleek vehicle with specialized features for zero-g and atmospheric combat, and reconnaissance.
The fore section comprises the nose back to the cockpit. Located there are the forward RCS systems for maneuvering the craft; the forward landing gear; the main avionics and sensor packages and the single-seat cockpit.
The stern comprises the main engines, numerous RCS maneuvering jets, fuel tanks, wings and vertical stabilizer. The wings themselves contain the kinetic energy weapons, their munitions storage and feeds. Mounting points beneath the wings allow missiles, munitions pods and other items to be rack-mounted (TRS: "The Hand of God").
The wing's roots contain the main landing gear, retracted during flight. The Mark II's shape is distinctive because of the offset "intakes" mounted just behind the cockpit. The port / starboard "intakes" incorporate small but powerful reverse thrust engines that can quickly counter a Viper's forward momentum in an emergency (TRS: "The Hand of God").
The Mark II is equipped with a Milso Delta-G Intrepid guidance system. The quad mounted gyroscopic ACRS is hot-linked to the cockpit instrument package and all RCS ports for enhanced performance .
The Mark II is equipped with two 800 rd. Thraxon MEC-A6 30mm Mass Accelerator Cannons (MECS), as it's primary weapon. These cannons are capable of firing 20 rounds per second and are augmented with orange tracers, which enable the pilot to see where the rounds are going, and adjust their aim accordingly .
These cannons are supplemented with a storage bay capable of holding up to eight Lightning Javelin missiles capable of carrying conventional or up to 50 megatons of nuclear tipped warheads .
The Mark II is as "nimble as a jackrabbit," and can rotate 180 degrees vertically in .35 seconds (TRS: "Act of Contrition"). It accelerates at six to seven G's, or 60 to 70 m/s² (TRS: "The Hand of God").
Surviving Mark IIs
Following the decommissioning of the battlestar Galactica 40 years after the Cylon War ended, and its transformation into a museum, a squadron Mark IIs are chosen for preservation and display on the port flight deck. Following the sudden Cylon attacks, these Vipers are brought back to working order and used to defend the ship as it made its way to Ragnar Anchorage to refit. Eventually, these Vipers are used to defend the 50,000 survivors of the attacks as they flee the Colonies into deep space (TRS: Miniseries).
They served with distinction up until the end of the Fleet's journey, however not without losses. The few remaining Mark IIs are eventually destroyed after Galactica is flown into a star following the Colonial's settlement of a new world (TRS: "Daybreak, Part II").