The Raptor is a vehicle utilized by the Colonial military. While it is designed to perform multiple roles, the Raptor most commonly takes part in reconnaissance and scouting operations.
|FTL||Yes (short range)|
|Crew||2 (Pilot and ECO)|
|Capacity||Approximately 5-10 passengers|
|Role||Reconnaissance and surveillance, electronic countermeasures support, transport|
|Weapons||Missiles and bombs (special missions only); normally unarmed; decoys|
|Other Images||More images...|
|Length||28 feet (8.6m)|
|Height||9.5 feet (2.9m)|
|Wingspan||18.34 feet (5.6m)|
The Raptor is usually operated by a crew of two (one pilot and one ECO), has synthetic gravity on board, and is controlled by means of a fly-by-wire system. It is capable of atmospheric flight and is also equipped with a short-range FTL engine, allowing it to make short faster-than-light hops. Due to its size and shape, a Raptor is not launched from a battlestar's launch tube, rather, it deploys from the forward end of a flight pod. The vehicle has been a mainstay of the Colonial fleet for over 40 years, having entered service sometime prior to the twelfth year of the first Cylon War
As a scout, Raptors can:
- Undertake short and medium-range scans to detect electromagnetic, heat or other signatures from other vessels.
- Scan planetary surfaces for signs of life, energy output, or to assess mineral or other content / location.
- Scout ahead of its parent warship in other planetary or celestial systems for any signs of hostile intent or stellar conditions prior to the parent ship's arrival.
- Undertake search & rescue operations after an engagement with Cylon forces.
When scouting, Raptors can operate independently, or in concert with other Raptors and Vipers.
As an ECM platform, the Raptor contains a full suite of electronic countermeasure and monitoring tools, enabling it to:
- Jam wireless or relay transmissions (by wireless or optically) from other spacecraft
- Scramble control signals used by guided weapons
- Undertake IFF operations for Viper squadrons
In addition to reconnaissance and scouting, the Raptor can also undertake the following roles:
- Airborne warning & control and electronic countermeasures platform supporting Viper operations
- Marine assault craft
- Ambulance / evac vehicle
- General purpose transport
- Combat Search and Rescue
As a transport vehicle, a Raptor is capable of carrying around eight to ten adults in addition to the two-person crew. As a marine assault vehicle, it can carry a squad of some eight marines plus their equipment.
Atmospheric Operations Edit
The Raptor is designed for atmospheric as well as space-based operations. However, a critical element to atmospheric operations is that to remain airborne is fuel: once in an atmosphere, the engines must be run constantly to retain lift surfaces. Depending on the composition of the atmosphere itself, this can place severe strain on the Raptor's engines.
Due to their overall configuration and bulk, Raptors may also suffer from poor handling at low speeds, and rely heavily on directed thrust to remain airborne.
FTL Operations Edit
A Raptor seems to be able to make at least ten, and probably at least 20 FTL jumps before refuelling.
Life Support Edit
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 de-pressurized and used in space rescue operations. Re-pressurization takes 10 seconds. The forward pilot and co-pilot seats can eject in an emergency as the forward canopy is blown away prior to the ejection.
Raptors are normally unarmed as they make for a poor general-purpose fighter. The craft have an internal weapons bay capable of holding both offensive and defensive weapons. They are also capable of carrying heavy external armaments on four wing hardpoints, two wingtip hardpoints, and two fuselage hardpoints on the sides of the Raptor's body. Known weapons carried include:
- nuclear missiles
- bombs/munitions pods
- quad racks of missiles
- multiple-tube rocket batteries mounted on the fuselage points
- external cannons
The Raptor's contours provide it a reduced DRADIS signature to avoid detection. In addition, the craft carry an assortment of pods to aid in communications or defence as well as electronic countermeasures such as a jigger.
The Raptor is an angular vehicle built for purpose, not style. The forward section of the Raptor contains a flight cabin with adjacent seats for the pilot and ECO (who occupies the rear section of the vehicle during non-military operations). The flight cabin is directly connected to the main body of the vehicle, where bulkhead-mounted columns of electronics sensory equipment are found. A large canopy at the bow provides favourable forward and side visibility for the crew, and is beneficial when a quick scan of immediate surroundings is required.
A large hydraulic door mounted to the port side of the vehicle provides general ingress and egress to the vehicle. In addition, a floor-mounted hatchway provides a further point of egress. The central door is linked to a pressurized docking skirt that can be extended from the underside of a Raptor, enabling it to dock to the hulls of other vessels. In the case of an assault, marines can use the skirt to breech a hull and board a hostile vessel.
Aft of the pressurized area are the FTL engine and main sublight engines. Port and starboard stub wings provide additional lift during atmospheric flight, and winglets reduce drag and provide step access to the wings and hull. RCS thrusters are placed throughout the craft for landing, manoeuvring and stabilisation.