|Viper Mark VII|
A Viper Mark VII in space
|Armaments:|| Phaser cannons|
The Mark VII is Starfleet's latest update of the Viper primary space superiority fighter/attack craft in the alternate reality created by the Narada. Capable of atmospheric and space flight, the Mark VII is in front-line service throughout the fleet; it retains the general layout of previous Viper designs but adds fully integrated avionics that provide far superior battle management and flight information for the pilot. There are two variants fielded by Starfleet, the newer one characterized by angular air intakes and a compressed forward fuselage. Additionally the new version is identified by the drab gray hue it possesses that differs from the other in-service variants gunmetal-gray coloration.
The Mark VII cockpit is almost totally computerized. There are far fewer analog gauges and more reliance is placed on a powerful central flight computer and the operating system that runs it (the latest package being the CNP). Its integrated systems and computer management gives the Mark VII pilot far greater control of the fighter as well as enhanced targeting control in a dogfight.
Being a limited range single-seat craft, the Viper does not possess a warp drive and as its role is to establish space supremacy, it is armed with phaser cannons. The Mark VII's main weapons are three forward-facing cannons, two in the wings and one in the vertical stabilizer. Typically, it is only the wing-mounted cannons that are used. In addition, it has hard-points beneath the wings for mounting photon torpedoes, munitions pods and other ordnance.
Survivability is improved by measures such as primary and secondary hydraulics, the secondary system acting as a redundant backup for mission-critical prime system. In comparison though it is the performance upgrade over legacy Vipers, greater computerization and heavier armament that clearly differentiate this latest issue of the Viper from what has come before.