Viper Mark VII

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Revision as of 08:16, 18 September 2007 by Noindiecred (talk | contribs) (Maelstrom Variant: POV issues)
This article discusses the newer Viper-class fighters seen in the Re-imagined Series. For information on the older, generally obsolete Viper Mark II fighter from the same series, see Viper Mark II. For the Viper used in the Original Series and in Galactica 1980, see Viper (TOS).
Viper Mk. VII
Viper Mk. VII
Race: Colonial
Type: Military
Propulsion: 3 x turbothrust engines mounted aft, RCS points[1]
Crew: 1 pilot in Terrell ES 24C ejection seat. [2]
CO: {{{co}}}
XO: {{{xo}}}
Role: Space superiority fighter
Weapons: 3 Kinetic Energy Weapons, missiles
Armaments: 3 x forward-firing kinetic energy weapons (KEW), 2 mounted towards the outboard sections of the wings, 1 x mounted in the vertical stabiliser, Weapon hardpoints for mounting missiles / munitions pods, etc. under the wings.[2]
Defenses: {{{def}}}
Aircraft: {{{aircraft}}}
Aviation facilities: {{{facilities}}}
Fate: In current Colonial service
Emblem: [[Image:{{{patch}}}|175px|Ship's patch]]
Other Images: Gallery
Length: 9.8643 meters[3]
Width: {{{width}}}
Height: 2.9508 meters[4]
Weight: {{{weight}}}
Wingspan: 5.61 meters
Other: {{{otherdi}}}
Game Information
Cost: {{{construction}}}
Construction Time: {{{construction}}}
Hull Size: {{{hull size}}}
Hull: {{{hull}}}
FTL Cooldown: {{{ftl cooldown}}} turns
Speed: {{{speed}}} m/s
Turn Rate: {{{turn rate}}}°/turn
Armor Sum
Armor Total: {{{armor total}}}
Armor Left: {{{armor left}}}
Armor Right: {{{armor right}}}
Armor Front: {{{armor front}}}
Armor Rear: {{{armor rear}}}
Armor Top: {{{armor top}}}
Armor Bottom: {{{armor bottom}}}
DRADIS Range: {{{dradis range}}} m
Processing Power: {{{processing power}}}
Munition Slots: {{{munitions}}}
Munition Cooldown Period: {{{munition cooldown}}} turns
Squadron Slots: {{{squadrons}}}
Special Abilities: {{{special abilities}}}
Additional Information
Viper Mk. VII in the separate continuity
Viper Mk. VII in the primary continuity

The Viper Mark VII was the Colonial Fleet's latest update to the venerable Viper Mark II primary space superiority fighter / attack craft. Capable of atmospheric flight, the Viper is a single-seat craft mounting three kinetic energy weapons (KEW), as well as having hardpoints beneath the wings for mounting missiles, munitions pods and other ordnance (The Hand of God).

The Mark VII was 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 was the incorporation of the new integrated systems that prevented 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 navigation software project, the navigational software in use onboard the majority of Colonial Fleet vessels contained backdoors that allow the Cylons to infiltrate a vessel's network by wireless signals and disable its power systems. While the problem could be overcome by removing the navigational upgrade compromised by the Cylons, this information is not discovered in time to be of major benefit to the surprised and hard-pressed Colonial forces.

Technical Specifications


Main article: Computers in the Re-imagined Series
Mark VII main instrument panel

The Mark VII cockpit is almost totally computerized. There are far fewer analog gauges and more reliance on a more 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 dogfight.

However, the latest and last software upgrade, the CNP upgrade, introduced a fatal flaw (inserted by a Cylon agent) in the Mark VII that led 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 were retrofitted to older avionics packages to replace the compromised CNP, or other subsystems in the fighter were augmented or removed to minimize or eliminate further infiltration.

As of "Scar", Pegasus has begun to use her onboard construction facilities to produce replacement Vipers. Enough materials are mined in the asteroid field to produce two full squadrons. Presumably, these are Mark VII Vipers fitted with Cylon-proof avionics. Also, since Pegasus joined the Fleet, the Mark IIs have been steadily phased out in favor of the retrofitted Mark VIIs, of which many were intact aboard Pegasus.


Main article: Weapons in the Re-imagined Series

The Mark VII's main weapons are three cannons, two in the wings and one in the vertical stabiliser. However, usually only the wing-mounted cannons are used.

Like the Mark II, it can also be armed with missiles.


  • While the Mark II could rotate 180 degrees vertically in .35 seconds (Act of Contrition), it is presumed that the Mark VII has an equal or better performance ratio.

Other design features

The Viper Mark VII has primary and secondary hydraulics, the secondary 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.

Known Viper Mark VIIs

Maelstrom Variant

File:Viper Mk VII Maelstrom.JPG
Viper Mk VII in flight (Maelstrom).

During the episode "Maelstrom", a possible variant of the Viper Mk VII appears throughout. It is characterized by angular intakes and a different forward fuselage. It is unknown if this is a true variant or retroactive update of the design; Mk VIIs seen on the hangar deck are still of the original design.


  • Since Galactica only had 40 Viper Mark IIs aboard as part of its 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). (Source: series website)
  • 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 the episode "Scar". "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 (33).

Related Imagery


  1. Very segmented exhaust nozzle design suggest possible thrust-vectoring.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ammunition used was same as older Viper models; the Mark VII guns appear to have a higher rate of fire. Armaments listings and ejector seat details from David Bassom's Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion.
  3. Dimensions provided by Lee Stringer, one of the VFX Animators of the miniseries. These are for the CGI models, which are based on but not identical to the fullsize props. Source: forums
  4. In flight, without landing gear. Landing gear adds approximately 0.5m.