|Class/Type:||Viper (Heavy Assault)|
|Affiliation:||Republic of the 12 Colonies|
|Decks/Sections:||1 (Flight control deck)|
|Launched:||10-20 Years after the 1st Cylon War|
|Main Power/Fuel Systems:||Tylium Core|
|Missle Systems:||12 Javelin missiles|
|Kinetic Projectile Weapons:|| 2 MEC-A6 30mm rail guns (Standard)
2 MEC-A9 35mm Kinetic Cannons (Mounted/Heavy/Special)
|Primary Heavy Weapons systems:||50 kiloton warhead(s)|
(This article refers to a Colonial Fighter within the Battlestar Hermes BSG-58 universe. It is not Canon) The Cobra Mark I was conceived as part of the Heavy Viper Competition launched near the middle of the First Cylon War. The aim of this competition was to provide the fleet with an FTL capable heavy fighter that had capabilities between a Viper Mk.I/II and a Colonial Raptor.
The development of the Cobra Mk.I was wrought with difficulty. In order to speed up the introduction of the new fighter and to ease production as many components from the Viper Mk.II were fitted as possible. The task of producing an FTL capable fighter in such a small airframe was considered by many to be beyond the expertise of the day. Nevertheless the designers pressed ahead and produced several non-FTL prototypes to assess the performance of the fighter. Four were sent to the Battlestar Columbia for combat trials against the Cylon Fleet fighting at Tauron. After three weeks two of them had been lost flying in combat alongside regular Viper Mk.IIs and the other two had suffered significant fatigue damage from heavy landings under combat conditions. It was not a good start.
Work on the FTL system continued to prove troublesome and it wouldn't be until the closng weeks of the war that the first FTL capable Cobras (as they were now named) became operational with frontline units. They were involved in several small engagements with Cylon Raiders where the heavy fighter proved that while it could match the turning performance of its adversary it was quite underpowered and several were run down by the enemy fighters.
The biggest engagement of the war that the Cobra Mk.I participated in was Operation: Raptor Talon. Two full squadrons flew from the ill-fated Columbia and carred out hit-and-run attacks against Cylon Baseships in order to wear down the defences. In this role the Cobras proved they had the hitting power but after battle results showed little difference in the effectiveness of the new type of fighter when compared to the Colonial Raptor in heavy fighter configuration.
The Cobra Mk.I incorporated the same sublight engines as those found on the Viper Mk.II but were of a higher rating to help compensate for the extra mass. Nevertheless the Cobra Mk.I remained underpowered and worse stll was that the upratng of the engines reduced their overall lifespan and reliability became an issue.
The FTL drive was a derivative of the one fitted to the Colonial Raptor but had a shorter spool in order to fit inside the Cobra Mk.I. This meant that it had a shorter range than a Raptor but still offered certain advantages over a Viper. The shorter spool had the advantage of being able to jump away quicker than a Raptor which made it ideal for its intended role of hit-and-run.
During the combat assessment aboard the Columbia the four prototypes were armed with standard MEC-A6 30mm rail guns as fitted to the Viper Mk.II. Operational examples were fitted with the heavier MEC-A9 35mm version. This was slower firing but harder hitting and would make light work of a Cylon Raider.
The Cobra Mk.I featured a rather heavy missile armament of twelve Javelin missiles with optional 50 kiloton warheads. These were often ripple fired at a target in order to saturate its defenses. Later in its career bigger missiles would be carried but their number was reduced.
The Cobra Mk.I had a short post war life. The problems with its design continued to plague it through its life but the concept was not lost on the Colonial Military leadership who ordered that work begin on a suitable replacement to address the problems. The result was the more successful Cobra Mk.II.