The Raptor is a vehicle utilized by the Colonial military. A versatile craft, it is designed to perform multiple roles, but the Raptor most commonly takes part in reconnaissance and scouting operations. There have been at least two variants of this design in use by the Colonials since the outbrake of hostilities with the Cylons.
The First War era Raptor (also known as "flying pillboxes", or "buses") is little changed from its later counterpart, but features a longer cabin with an aft-facing gun emplacement. This design also relies on the main sublight engines for maneuvering.
This design was considered by the Colonials to generally be slow, and an easy target for Cylon forces to attack and destroy. However, it was not impossible to eliminate enemy targets while flying one.
The Raptors of this type are eventually replaced by their modern counterparts; Galactica has at least one of these in service by the start of Operation Raptor Talon.
It is not known if this design commonly carries FTL drives, like their later counterparts do. Ten years into the War (42 BCH), and Raptor 909 does not carry one, however, a statement by Galactica CO Silas Nash suggests that the Colonials do utilize smaller FTL capable ships. It is possible that the FTL drive and related components were removed in order to enlarge the cabin, and to accommodate the "Toaster Slayer" cannon.
The main flight deck / cabin of a Raptor is fully pressurized. However, crews operate in flight suits and helmets to help protect them against any hull breach. The cabin can also be depressurized and used in space rescue operations.
2x rotating sublight engine pods mounted aft.
Raptors of this era are more commonly armed that the later design. This design can be outfitted with mission specific ship to ship missiles, incorporates a rear cannon, and is equipped with electronic countermeasures for defense ("Blood and Chrome").