Python Space Industries “Star Cobra” Medium Starfighter:

At one time, the Venom light space fighter was one of the most common fighters in the Three Galaxies. Many companies which originally produced the Venom fighter have decided to switch to manufacturing the Hyena fighter in order to remain in operation. Others are struggling to switch while continuing to produce the Super Venom fighter.

Python Space Industries decided to take a different approach towards the problem. Instead of trying to switch over, they decided to develop a further improvement on the Super Venom called the “Venom-X.” The idea was that the fighter would take advantage of the niche of operators of the old fighter who did not want to retrain their pilots to new fighter types.  

With the Venom-X fighter being reasonably successful, Python Industries decided to also see if they could develop a medium fighter which might compete directly with the Super Hyena. As one might expect, the started from the Venom-X and developed an enlarged design from there. Even so, the design became virtually a new fighter. In the end, they decided to abandon the Venom name and instead this new medium fighter became the Star Cobra.

There was some debate in the company whether they should actually begin manufacturing the fighter with concerns of low sales. Besides the Super Hyena, there are surplus Human Alliance Osprey and Wolfen Gladius as well new production Bushido Industries Katana fighters. As a result, the start of manufacturing was slow with the company only recently starting actual production. Presently, only a comparatively small number have been produced. There has been some interest in the fighter although not as much as with the Venom-X.

Even though the Star Cobra can be considered a new fighter in many respects, its heritage as a member of the Venom family of fighters is clear. In common with the others of the family, wherever possible the Star Cobra uses civilian components to reduce costs. Where possible, the Star Cobra shares components with the Venom-X as well. Of course, a number of components and systems had to be extensively modified and some completely new components had to be developed as well.

While based on the contra-grav drive mounted on the Venom-X, the Star Cobra mounts a much larger drive system in order to compensate for the additional mass of the medium fighter. Currently, the medium fighter’s acceleration is about twelve percent less than that of the Venom-X. However, the medium fighter does have slightly better acceleration than the Super Hyena.

The engineers at Python Space Industries are currently working on an improved drive for the Star Cobra. If the upgraded drive works as planned, the Star Cobra should have an acceleration equal to the current version of Venom-X light fighter. However, company engineers are also working to further upgrade the light fighter’s drives as well. With the improved drives, there is also the question if older fighters will be able to be retrofitted.

As with the Venom family generally, the fusion plants are designed for a relatively short time between being refueled compared to fighters of the Consortium, Human Alliance, and others. Instead of trying to develop an improved version of the plant used on the Venom-X however, an “off the shelf” model was used. This reactor was a bit more expensive but is very reliable and can actually go eight years between needing to be refueled.

Also as with the Venom-X, the shield generators are mounted on either side of the fuselage in what look like streamlined pods reminiscent of conformal fuel tanks that might have been carried on ancient Pre-Rifts jet fighters. These are part of the fighter’s hull and cannot be detached. Their position does make for relatively easy maintenance however. While the shield generators are only equal to the Super Hyena, the Star Cobra is better armored mostly due to using more advanced composites and alloys.

For weaponry, the original 15 mm electromagnetic rail gun is retained. Payload is increased from four thousand to six thousand rounds however. Hard points are quite different than the Venom-X with a total of eight instead of six hard points. The two fuselage hard points are still designed to mount a single capital missile each but the two inner wing hard points are reinforced to be able to also carry a capital missile. Smaller ordnance can be substituted as required. Full size mini-missile pods can be carried on the inner wing hard points. The fighter also has mid wing hard point while also retaining the outer wing hard point. There are only designed to be able to carry a pair of medium range missiles however.

This fighter uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

(Note: The power system is fusion not anti-matter because the author’s opinion is that anti-matter is too dangerous to be used in vehicles that may be used in an atmosphere. If a starship powered by anti-matter was to detonate in an atmosphere it would cause huge planetary damage. At GM option, this can also be applied to all starfighters or this “fighter” can be changed to anti-matter.)

Model Type: PV-MSX-232A.

Vehicle Type: Medium Interceptor / Strike Fighter.

Crew:   One.

M.D.C. By Location:


Centerline 15 mm Electromagnetic Rail Gun:



Missile Hard Points (8, on the underside):

8 each.


[1] Wings (2):

275 each.


[2] Main Body:



Cockpit / Reinforced Pilot’s Compartment:



[3] Variable Force Field:

200 per side (1,200 total).


[1] Destroying a wing will cause the light fighter to crash if it is flying within an atmosphere. Destruction of a wing has no effect in space. Will also lose all ordnance on that wing.

[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the fighter out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The craft itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.

[3] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (60 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.

Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light. Fighter can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.25 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum normal speed is Mach 6.2 (4,720.0 mph / 7,595.5 kph), can enter and leave atmosphere because flight system is by contra grav. Missiles on hard points reduces performance to Mach 4.0 (3,045.2 mph / 4,900.3 kph) in an atmosphere.

Maximum Range: Effectively unlimited by internal fuel (8 year duration). Fighter uses an advanced fusion cell system for power systems. The fighter carries six days of consumables for fighter’s crew.

Statistical Data:

Length:                41.99 feet (12.8 meters).

Height:                14.11 feet (4.3 meters).

Width:                 34.45 feet (10.5 meters) wings folded and 45.28 feet (13.8 meter) wings unfolded.

Mass/Weight:      13.78 tons (12.5 metric tons) empty and 18.63 tons (16.9 metric tons) fully loaded with missiles.

Power System: Advanced Fusion with 8 year life span.

Cargo: Minimal Storage Space, place for a rifle, handgun, small survival kit, signal flares, and food rations.

Market Cost: 36 million credits.


  1. One (1) Centerline 15 mm Electromagnetic Rail Gun: Mounted in the centerline of the fighter and in many ways, the fighter is built around the rail gun. Unlike rail-guns mounted on most newer Three Galaxies / Phase World star fighters, the rail guns work through the use of electromagnets instead of through gravity. When used in space, projectiles are fired from rail gun at a significant fraction of the speed of light. When used in an atmosphere, projectile velocities are slower to prevent them from burning up but still are at hypersonic speeds. It is effective against targets that are impervious to energy. Rail gun uses 15 mm depleted uranium projectiles.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 800 miles (1,290 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 3D6x10 M.D.C. for an 80 round burst.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: 6,000 Rounds (75 burst) total.

  2. Six (6) Hard Points: The fighter has a total of six hard points which can mount missiles or mini-missile pods. The fighter has two hard point on the fuselage, one on each wing in a inner wing position, one in the middle of each wing, and a single one on the outer wing position of each wing. Individual hard points must carry all the same type ordnance but each hard points may carry different types of ordnance.

    Fuselage Hard Points (2): One Cruise Missile, two Long Range Missiles, or four Medium Range Missile each.

    Inner Wing Hard Points (2): One Mini-Missile Pod, one Cruise Missile, two Long Range Missiles, or four Medium Range Missile each.

    Middle Wing Hard Points (2): Two Medium Range Missiles each.

    Outer Wing Hard Points (2): Two Medium Range Missiles each.

    1. Missiles: Cruise missile are normally carried when on an anti-capital ship role and long and medium range missiles when fighting other starfighters. Cruise Missiles have a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and have an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship) in space. Long Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and and have an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship) in space. Medium Range Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and have an acceleration of 6% of light per turn in space. Whether missiles can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launching starship, and missiles. When drive goes dead, missiles will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct or receives a destruct code, but have very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missiles, when unpowered, are at -25% to be detected.) Cruise missiles have penalties to hit small targets with virtually all missiles carried being smart missiles. Missiles can be launched on multiple targets simultaneously.

      Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space, Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space, and Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.

      Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Cruise Anti-Matter multi-warheads inflict 5D6x100 M.D.C. each and Long Range Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)

      Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) missiles.

      Payload: Varies by hard point.

    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Mini-missile pods are limited to being able to be carried on the inner “wing” hard points of the starfighter that can be used against ground targets, infantry, and against starships. Missiles have a top speed of Mach 10 in an atmosphere and have an acceleration of 2% of light per turn in space. This is slightly faster than any starship except if it is exceeding it maximum safe acceleration. Launchers can launch on multiple targets each at the same time. Mini-Missiles in the Phase World / Three Galaxies setting are normally smart missiles.

      Maximum Effective Range: Mini-Missile range is 2 miles (3.2 km) in an atmosphere and 100 miles (161 km) in space.

      Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details.)

      Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8) and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in a volley.)

      Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.

[ Altara TM, Brodkil TM, Bushido Industries TM, CAF TM, Catyr TM, CCW TM, Consortium of Civilized Worlds TM, Coyles TM, Free Worlds Council TM, Gene Splicers TM, K-Hex TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kreeghor TM, Kydian TM, Machine People TM, M.D.C. TM, Mega-Damage TM, Metzla TM, M’Kri Hardware TM, Monro TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Noro TM, Paradise Federation TM, Phase World TM, Psylite TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Seljuks TM, Splugorth TM, Sunaj TM, Trans-Galactic Empire TM, Tri-Galactic Military Service TM, United Worlds Warlock TM, U.W.W. TM, Wolfen TM, and Zembahk TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2016, Kitsune. All rights reserved.