The “Viper” is an armed gunship with troop carrying abilities in service with the Marine Corps branch of the Star Military of the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia.
Designed to offer Nepleslian Marines a method to be inserted into hard-to-reach areas when starships are unavailable, as well as to have a transport/gunship platform to be fielded exclusively by the Marines.
Missle bay under the cockpit has internally-stored weapons, which pop out when ready to fire. Rearward troop carrying bay.
The “Viper” is primarily a Troop Transport, tasked with inserting Marines into a battlefield and loitering around the area to be called in for close air support.
Recent ground operations by Nepleslian Marines have shown that calling in an orbital bombardment by starships to be too impractical, as the nature of warfare experienced by most Marines have seen them fighting in close proximity to their enemies. Warfare conducted by Marines also relies on maneuverability of it's units, calling for numerous dropships to be created.
The Viper was designed to fill these roles as an armed troop transport, to be able to safely ferry Nepleslian Marines into and out of battle, and to provide a more subtle form of air support than a fighter-bomber or from orbital bombardment. This craft is also to be fielded exclusively by Marines and piloted by Marines, who's experience in ground combat provides a good understanding of the needs of the Marines they ferry to and fro, and of their needs for close-in air support.
Organizations Using This Vessel: Star Military of the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia
Type: Troop Transport
Class: Nepleslian Armed Troop Transport
Designer: NAM Aerotech
Production: Mass Production
Pilots: 2, one to navigate and do the actual piloting. One to operate weapon systems and to monitor other various systems on the Viper
Maximum Capacity: There are accommodations for 5 Marines in the rear troop cargo bay.
Length: 32 meters
Width : 10 meters
Speed (Atmospheric, sea level): Mach 1.8
Lifespan: 5 years
Refit Cycle: Requires regular maintenance after every mission, as well as rearming after munitions have been expended.
Missile Compartments: 4
Narrow and cramped, very uncomfortable for both the pilot and gunner. Gunner's seat is below the pilot while the pilot's seat is above the gunner. The seats are made of heavy leather and contain rockets on the bottom that serve to eject the seat through the windowshield, with a large parachute that deploys on a timer that activates when sensors in the seats detect the seat being ejected from the craft. In the ejection process, small explosives lined within the pieces of metal that serve to hold the windshield in place explode, shattering the windshield and blowing said pieces of metal away.
Seats are colored a dark green.
It is recommended for the pilot to assume the “fetal position” before ejecting, since his portion of the cockpit is the most cramped.
The pilot's area contains a joystick for steering and a lever on the left to regulate speed. Control panel on the right contains several buttons that operate the navigation equipment.
The front of the pilot's seat is a large piece of equipment that gives the pilot a 3D view of the terrain, pre-programmed into the Viper's computer before a mission, based on topographic data. There is a HUD on top of his piece of equipment that shows wind velocity, speed of the craft and it's altitude. The HUD itself has a circle made up of several small lines with a line in the middle that moves according to how the Viper is angled to either side. The pilot wears a helmet smaller than the Gunner's, that bears resemblance to the K-Pot of today's military. The helmet houses a radio link that is able to converse with friendly forces from squad-level to receiving orders at the batallion level. The pilot is responsible for relaying targets from squad or platoon leaders to the gunner.
The gunner of thee craft is all but encased in electronics, save for the top of the cockpit's window shield above him. The pilot himself wears a specialized helmet that bears resemblance to a large motorcycle helmet. The inside of the helmet contains a radio uplink to the pilot. The HUD on the helmet contains information on the weapons systems, indicating the damage each one may have taken, if a certain weapon were overheated, and the amount of ammunition left. On the left of the cockpit, there is a “D-pad” that provides the pilot with the ability to scroll through the numerous weapons systems available, with the pull of a trigger on the joystick between the pilot's legs acting as a sort of “mouse click” that selects the weapon and fires it. On the same side, there is a manual override for the mono-eye should it be knocked off-line. In this manual override, sensors in the pilot's helmet detect his head movements, which move the Chaingun itself.
The complete front of the pilot's view is taken up by a large screen that shows, essentially, what the mono-eye sees. It is capable of magnification to longer ranges. There is a selection of filters that the screen can take, including “black hot” or “white hot” thermal vision, night vision and regular vision. Enemies are outlined with a downward-pointing, red arrow on the screen, while friendlies are outlined with a green “X” across them.
There are smaller screens that maximize to a larger size on the gunner's main screen when chosen and minimize when another screen is chosen, that gives a “wireframe” overview of the Viper, designating the amount of damage in terms of yellow being light damage, orange being medium damage, and red being critical damage. Another smaller screen gives information on the generators.
A large space behind the Viper offers enough space for a squad (5) Nepleslian Marines. Marines are crouched in the relatively cramped bay, which is devoid of anything, even seats. Handles on the top of the bay fold down to offer some degree of stability for Marines in flight. When ready to deploy, the troop bay splits down the middle of the floor and folds to the sides, allowing for the Marines on board to simply drop down. Supplies can be loaded into the bay, and dropped down as well.
The Viper is covered in a layer of Durandium, made thick especially near the fusion generators and the troop carrier. Around the cockpit, there are thin, segmented pieces of Nerimium to offer a larger degree of protection to the pilots.
Specialized computer system. Thanks to the detailed trajectories data from the Monoeye sensor system, the Savtech can perform high accuracy shots. Should the Savtech determine that a shot is approaching the Viper; it will instantly perform evasive maneuvers. This may be quite jarring to the pilot who should be the one in control of his machine, thus practices should be in order so that the Savtech learns moves that are more preferred by the pilot, and the pilot accustoms itself to the Savtech's automatic dodging. It is recommended to save your battle data in the event of machine switching or destruction.
Placed on the right and left sides of the forward-mounted plasma chaingun (like the systems on the Apache helicopter's cannon), where it gives a 180* view on both sides (Therefore a full 360* total) and due to the dual positioning some degree of depth perception exists. On passive mode these sensors emit low key RADAR, LADAR and receive data on a wide spectrum. On active mode, a pair of mono-directional emitters located within the sensors will glow. These “Monoeyes” furiously emits subspace particles at a specific target, providing extremely detailed and instantaneous data on the target including things leaving it (I.e.: Projectiles and Sensor Pings). The con's of this system is that it can only lock on at one target at a time. Also, going Active mode nearly always betrays your own presence and position.
NAM Noisemaker Device The NAM “Noisemaker” excels at jamming passive sensors by constantly emitting random signals of all types and frequencies. Although this assists friendly units nearby, the Viper will be easily spotted up to 1,000 KM away when this is activated.
Antennas are located behind the cockpit, under where the “MARINES” is written.
Na-PID-01b Plasma Impulse Drive This propulsion system uses an array of VASIMIR assemblies to help propel the ship at high speeds. Drawing ionized hydrogen into a magnetized chamber, The ionized Hydrogen is then super-heated using microwave radiation. At the same time, Radio waves are passed through the plasma to impart a very powerful charge. Shortly after, it is expelled through the rear of the ship using a magnetic channeling system.
The Viper has no shields on it.
Location: Mounted in two hidden missile bays under the cockpit.
Location: Mounted on a central strut that pops out of the missile bay, situated between the two ARROW racks.
(2): NAM Pulse Laser Array PLA-01a: This consists of a small single high precision high power laser mounted on both sides of the Viper. The Laser projector is capable of turning on an axis to fire to the front, back and above the Viper.