StarVipers? Squadron, the last thing you want to see on this op are StarVipers. They're fast and powerful, and they'll blow through your X-wing without thinking twice. And I'm not joking.
—Anonymous Rebel Alliance starfighter commander
The StarViper-class starfighter was a heavy starfighter originally developed by MandalMotors for Prince Xizor's Black Sun crime syndicate. However, MandalMotors also produced numerous starfighters for the Zann Consortium's fleet.
The StarViper classification was armed with four laser cannons - stubby blasters, however, with a high-powered system of electromagnets at the phase cyclers, projecting an immensely compacted and super strong bowl of overlapping magnetic fields that amplified each blast into an ellipsoid of superheated green plasma. While this gave it a range of below that of a T-65 X-wing and just below that of even the short-ranged TIE fighter, each hit was considerably more damaging, giving its cannons an overall combat effectiveness of between the X-wing and the TIE fighter.
All StarViper heavy starfighters also had a type of missile ordnance. Many models boasted two recessed concussion missile launchers, with a magazine of eight missiles. This gave the StarViper a large advantage over any of the basic TIE series starfighters, allowing it to blast apart moderately armored enemies at long range, and even giving it the punch to take out large capital ships in groups of a dozen or more. However, MandalMotors was contracted to craft a small amount of differently armed StarVipers for the Zann Consortium. The eight concussion missile launchers and the dual linked missile projection system were scrapped in favor of a buzz droid dispenser with half a dozen tightly packed saboteur droids. These, while taking out the long range advantages of the concussion missiles, gave the StarViper-class starfighter a unique advantage in prolonged close-ranged dogfights and also missions to disable enemy starfighters or capital warships. After being kinetically ejected, the buzz droids would home in on a designated target, or if set to automatic IFF lock-on mode, on the nearest enemy target. The buzz droids were especially lethal against unshielded targets, but also highly destructive against shielded enemies. Against shielded targets, however, the buzz droids had to activate special phase scramblers that would temporarily lower the target's shields for a limited amount of duration and area. Then, the buzz droid would proceed to sabotage and destroy the critical systems of the target(s) or, if programmed to disable the target, destroy the self-destruct systems, weapon and propulsion systems, and also the ejection system.
While buzz droids were intended against starfighter opponents, en masse, they could also severely damage capital ships. While multiple squadrons of StarVipers were required to bomb an enemy corvette with buzz droids to disable it, it was entirely impractical to launch such a daring assault on a Victory-class Star Destroyer or a warship of approximate or greater size. Also, StarVipers armed with concussion missiles could destroy any capital ship target much more efficiently that a starfighter with a buzz droid dispenser simply because concussion missiles were more damaging, did their damage faster, and because a StarViper could launch missiles at long range while a StarViper with buzz droids had to dive in high-speed, very proximal range bombing runs. However, buzz droid-armed StarVipers were useful in some battles for their ability to disable enemy capital warships, leaving them vulnerable to hijacking and commandeering by the Zann Consortium, even though the risks to StarViper pilot corps were high and the amount of effort, time, and money spent to repair sabotaged systems were also considerable.
|Zann Consortium starship classes|