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Battlestar Galactica (2003)/Cylon Raider
There are three models of Cylon Raider known to exist.
The early-model Raider was used by the Cylons during the original Cylon War. It was piloted by a crew of three old-style Cylon Centurions, had two forward facing projectile weapons and missile bays under the wings. It was both space and atmosphere capable.
New RaiderThe new Cylon Raider was first encountered during the Cylon attack on the Colonies. Originally thought to be simply a more advanced version of the piloted Raider, it was discovered by Colonial Viper pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace that the new Raider was bio-mechanical in nature, with organic control surfaces and its own organic brain, and it was later disclosed by Sharon Valerii that the Raiders, unlike Cylon Centurions, are capable of being "resurrected" after death like human-type Cylons, allowing them to learn from their mistakes and become increasingly skilled. Raiders are capable of both space and atmospheric flight.
The new Raider's weapons systems are also far more versatile than the piloted Raider. It has been seen carrying a complement of missiles, standard projectile weapons, and even nukes. The Raider also has a very efficient FTL drive.
The new Raider was also used to transmit the virus that attacked Dr. Gaius Baltar's Command Navigation Program. A backdoor was built into the program during its development by Cylon Number Six, who gained access to the program through Baltar. The back-door allowed the virus to disable the integrated network systems aboard Colonial warships and fighters, shutting them down and leaving them vulnerable.
The Cylon Heavy Raider was first seen in detail carrying a payload of Cylon Centurions to board Galactica in Valley of Darkness, and again on Caprica after one was stolen by Caprica-Boomer for use as an escape craft in The Farm. The Heavy Raider appears to be similar in function to the Colonial Raptor. Cylon Heavy Raiders are capable of much longer jumps than Colonial Raptors, and during the fleet's rescue mission to Caprica, they installed the navigational system from Sharon's stolen Heavy Raider on a Raptor and used it to make the jump calculations, enabling the rescue team to make the trip to Caprica in many fewer jumps.
- Seen in one of Galactica's museum displays, the old-style Raider is actually a model of the original Cylon Raider from Battlestar Galactica (1978).