Cylon Air Defenses


The Cylons utilize a few types of air defense assets that have been identified by intelligence aboard the Cerberus. These profiles have been developed based on the analysis of reconnaissance photos (IMINT), signals intelligences (SIGINT), and after-action reports submitted by various pilots in their roles and reports of enemy activity.


CDG-20-4 "FOXFIRE" Air Defense Gun

Guns: 4 x 20mm
Missiles: N/A
Warhead: Kinetic Energy
Guidance: IR/Optical
Range (Tracking): 6 miles
Range (Missiles): N/A
Range (Guns): 2 miles

The "Foxfire" was first seen during the first Cylon War and was employed extensively to targets that the Cylons suspected the Colonials would attempt to hit with airstrikes. The four wheels are purely for transport and provide no automated movement capability and must be pushed into position where a braking system holds it in place. Because of this, Cylons would often employ them during offensive operations as they were easily portable and simple to use. As far as can be told right now, these gun systems look to be almost identical to the system seen during the first war.

"Foxfire" has no requirement to be 'manned' and can operate purely without support. However, there had been scattered reports of Centurions working the gun system manually during the first war. Analysis of captured systems indicated a manual interface system where-by the Centurion could manually plug itself into the gun and direct its fire. However, it is suspected that this would only be done if the guidance systems were damaged. These guidance systems were/are purely passive - meaning there is no warning of their impending attack. It utilizes a simple computer system that processes targets based around a thermal (infrared/IR) guidance system that tracks the heat of exhaust from aircraft. These thermal readings are then relayed to an electro-optical camera that compares the shape of the target to known Colonial ship profiles. Once done, a radio receiver checks the ship's broadcast IFF codes to verify the target before engagement. This process takes less than two seconds.

Each of these guns employs four twenty-millimeter cannons. Every fourth round from these guns is a tracer by design. While tracers give away the position of the gun, the IR guidance system uses the incendiary rounds to adjust the fire of the cannon without the aid of DRADIS or other active guidance systems. One twenty-millimeter cannon has a rate-of-fire of five hundred rounds a minute with each gun holding one thousand rounds per gun. They were known in the past to overheat during prolonged firing and jam (one report had been issued about the gun exploding on its own) during large, massed air attacks. It is unknown if the problem has been fixed since the last war.

CDG-93R "FORGE" Tactical Air Defense System

Guns: 2 x 30mm
Missiles: 8 x AIM-22 "Dagger" (Improved)
Warhead: Gun — Kinetic Energy. Missile — 53 lbs HE.
Guidance: IR/Optical, Millimeter-band DRADIS (K-Band)
Range (Tracking): IR/Optical - 6 miles. DRADIS - 15 miles.
Range (Missiles): 12 miles
Range (Guns): 3.2 miles

Much like the "Foxfire", the "Forge" was originally seen in the first Cylon War as a localized defense system. However, there are several capabilities that separate the two. First, this gun system works on a tank tread system that provide cross-country travel and even through destroyed population centers. Its 800 horsepower motor ensures that it has the ability climb steep terrain or even push through some lightly forested areas at slow speeds. The original system was also crewed by three Centurions - a gunner, a driver, and a DRADIS operator. However, these new versions, designated the 'R' have substantial changes that include a smaller chassis that indicates that if this version is crewed by Centurions then very likely the crew size has been reduced or entirely eliminated.


What makes these systems so dangerous is their combined target engagement systems. The "Forge" employs the same IR/Optical system that the "Foxfire" does, but it is coupled with a millimeter-band DRADIS system that will actively search for targets. Capable of tracking up to twenty targets at once, it can engage as many as three simultaneously when using the DRADIS. While an active DRADIS will alert pilots to impending or current lock, it gives away the position of the system immediately. In the past these guns have operated in a mostly passive mode to find and engage its targets, opting for the IR/Optical system. However, during engagements it usually enables the DRADIS system to improve accuracy and fire-control efficiency. These guns typically operate in batteries of three for organizational purposes.


The "Forge" operates missiles as well as a set of guns. The Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) used are IR-guided versions that were originally employed on the Viper Mark One. Once the Cylons adopted them for use as SAMs rather than air-to-air missiles (AAMs), they upgraded the guidance package and added a larger fuel tank to accommodate longer ranges in atmospheric flight. The engine uses thrust-vectoring panels at the exhaust port to enable rapid maneuvering once out of the missile tubes in order to provide extremely short-range engagement capabilities. The guns are a unique design that the Cylons developed on their own. Both mounted to the turret, they are thirty-millimeter designs that can achieve rates of fire, per gun, of close to 900 rounds per minute. With SAMs and a gun with a combined total of 1800RPM, coupled with the large caliber design, these are formidable air defense assets.

NOTE: Below is a video of the real-life system that this design is based off of, called the 2S6M Tunguska. For all intents and purposes, this is what it looks like during operations. Just be prepared for Mission Impossible theme music (its loud).

CSAM-714 "SABER" Strategic Surface to Air Missile System

Guns: N/A
Missiles: Full Battery — 16 x C67V9 SAMs
Warhead: Conventional — ~100lbs HE (est.). Nuclear — ~15kt (est.)
Guidance: Tracking — 76N6 "Clam Shell". Engagement — 30N6E "Flap Lid".
Range (Tracking): 200 miles (vert/horz) (est.)
Range (Missiles): 150 miles (est.)
Range (Guns): N/A

The "Saber" is a brand new system that has never been seen deployed before. Long-range reconnaissance photography from recent missions has identified these systems based at certain locations on the Colonies. Very little is known as hard fact about these systems so the listed specifications are estimated ranges and capabilities. The fact that the system is based around vehicles indicates that they are semi-mobile, however they almost certainly require crews to manually operate these batteries. Set-up times for a single battery is estimated to be anywhere from forty-five (45) minutes to two hours. Because of the active tracking necessity of the system and the highly observable DRADIS masts, these systems should be easy to spot both in recon and from electronic warfare sets available on any craft operated by the Colonial Fleet.

The system is operates as a single unit, each battery consisting of seven vehicles - all of which are more-than-likely required for complete operation:

  • 64N6E "Big Bird": This is an Early Warning set that has exceptional tracking range and almost appears to be a copy of the EXLORAD system that is common to Flak Frigates. Best intelligence estimates say that this DRADIS set has the capability to track low-orbit targets around the planetary surface for brief periods while said targets are in a narrow window overhead. Most likely this is also the primary IFF interrogator and deals with the first stage of the engagement protocol. When employed for low-orbit tracking, this set is tilted back and directed into the sky at an almost forty-five degree angle.
  • 76N6 "Clam Shell": This low(er)-altitude set is the initial tracking set for the "Saber" system. The "Big Bird" provides initial warning while this DRADIS dish is probably the second-tier of the engagement protocols. It is suspected to be designed specifically to handle atmospheric engagements and provide enough detailed information to initiate the firing sequence.
  • 30N6E "Flap Lid": Almost no information is to be had about the DRADIS frequencies operated by the "Flap Lid" set. This is estimated to be the Engagement and Guidance DRADIS set. Once the "Clam Shell" has acquired a lock, this set probably is activated to direct the missile into its final flight phase.
  • 5PS5SE TEL: There are four of these Transporter-Erector-Launchers (TELs) assigned to each battery of CSAM-714's. Each TEL truck has four missile tubes attached to the rear that sit horizontal during transport and are erected to a vertical position once emplaced. Due to the inherent dangers of motor ignition in tubes like this, its theorized that these missiles employ a gas-ejection system to shoot the missiles as much as 100 feet out of the tube before the motor is employed. As a note, photorecon has identified some of these tubes being larger than the others (in terms of length). It is suspected that these tubes (designated: TEL-N) may have nuclear capability and be used for engagement of Colonial forces in low orbit. If this capability is present, then the "Big Bird" set may have a targeting capability.

NOTE: Below is a video of the real-life system that this design is based off of, called the S-300PMU / SA-10 "Grumble". For all intents and purposes, this is what it looks like during operations. Just be prepared for EVEN MORE Mission Impossible theme music.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License