This article only refers to 'Viper MkIII' as is featured in the Battlestar Hermes series. It is not official and is a work of Fan Fiction.
The Viper MK-III is a development of the ubiquitous Viper Mk.II (itself a development of the original MkI) and incorporated the lessons learned in combat with the Cylons during the Cylon Revolt. Such lessons included heavier firepower, stronger armour and longer endurance. Unfortunately it arrived too late to play a significant contribution in the war.
Fighter Design Edit
The MkIII differed from virtually all other Vipers in that the wings were of a forward sweeping design as opposed to the more conventional rearward sweeping wings found on other Vipers. This was part of an effort to improve maneuverability within an atmosphere where the Cylon Raiders held several advantages over the Viper Mk II. The early pre-production model had a canopy similar to that found on the Viper Mk.I but the final versions had the MkII canopy which offered a greater field of vision.
The MkIII featured two ARC-7A-1 30mm rail guns. An early prototype tested the application of a third rearward firing mounted in the base of the vertical tail but this proved troublesome and difficult to use in combat given the level of technology then incorporated into the Viper. The MkIII could carry 6-8 Javelin missiles in missile bays located in the wings. These had an optional 50kt nuclear warhead.
The early prorotypes featured a Viper MK I style cockpit and the avionics package from the Viper MK II. These early models were intended to serve as aerodynamic and spaceborne test beds to prove flight performance. There were nine prototypes in total each one an improvement over the last. The final prototype was a pre-roduction model with a full weapon systems and flight controls.
Early Production ModelsEdit
The early models offered significant improvements over the Viper MK II in terms of range and firepower but the actual weapon system was only a marginal improvement. This was because the Colonial leadership wanted to get the Mk.III into service as quickly as possible to help fight the Cylons but in the end it missed out on seeing combat by a matter of days.
Improvements were made to the flight control and weapon systems as time went on. It became a more responsive fighter thanks to the newer thrusters it received. By the end of its life the Viper Mk.III was fitted with an early version of the weapon system fitted to the Viper Mark IV.
TrainerEditA two seat trainer version was produced and was known as the Viper Mk.III-T.
The MkIII had a short life after the war as it was replaced by the more capable MkIV however many of them were used for testing and development of new systems. A rather large number of decommissioned Viper MkIIIs were taken on by the Ministry of Intelligence (MoI) and stockpiled at a secret base. A few of the survivors were salvaged by the Battlestar Hermes to help defend the Battlestar after 'The Fall'.
- The design for the MkIII is taken from the faux trailer made by Richard Hatch in his attempt to create a follow-on to the original series. This series was not picked up, the producers instead deciding to go with Ronald D. Moore's re-imagined version of the show. I have chosen this design to pay homage to the 'Battlestar Galactica that never was'.
- The MkIII has yet to make an appearance in a Hermes story but a small number of them will eventually be taken on in a future story to help bolster losses sustained by the air wing.- This article was the 100th posted on Galacticafanon.wikia.com.