The Viper is the smallest Warp-capable vessel used by the Battlefleet Calixis. The Viper is a fast scout ship, with immensely powerful realspace plasma engines. It is used for short-term spy missions aimed at specific hostile regions: unlike, for example, a Dauntless-class Light Cruiser, which will conduct broad patrols over a wide area, the Viper charges into hostile territory at high speed. There it uses powerful Auspex and Augur scanners to collate as much information as possible, before retreating to a safe Warp jump point while usually pursued by enemy ships.
Given its specialist role, the Viper is unsurprisingly limited in many ways. It is a tiny starship, with very restricted space for additional components. Furthermore, it is not heavily armed, as extensive weapon batteries would draw vital power from the sensor arrays and engines. They are rare vessels in the Calixis Sector and are not ideal vessels for Rogue Traders, given their highly specialised nature. However, more enterprising and wealthy Rogue Trader dynasties will often employ a Viper as part of a larger fleet, leapfrogging ahead of the main force to rapidly establish the nature of each planetary system encountered.
- Hull: Raider.
- Class: Viper-class Scout Sloop.
- Dimensions: Approximately 0.95 kilometres long, 0.25 kilometres abeam at fins.
- Mass: Approximately 4.9 megatonnes.
- Crew: Approximately 7,500 crew.
- Acceleration: - 6 gravities max sustainable acceleration.
- Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronus (RPG), pp. 28-29