The Viper Mark VII is the Alliance Fleet's latest update to the venerable Viper Mark II primary space superiority fighter / attack craft.
Capable of atmospheric flight, the Mark VII is 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 is this incorporation of new integrated systems that prevents 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 on board most Colonial Fleet vessels contains back-doors that allow the Cylons to infiltrate a vessel's computers by wireless signals and to disable its power systems. Though this problem can be overcome by removing the navigational upgrade compromised by the Cylons, the information is not discovered in time to benefit the surprised and hard-pressed Colonial forces. Being a single-seat craft, it mounts three forward-facing kinetic energy weapons (KEW). In addition, it possesses hard-points beneath the wings for mounting missiles, munitions pods and other ordnance