In 3058 the Congress-class frigate Snake Leader was a WarShip within the Clan Steel Viper touman and was serving within the Steel Viper Naval Reserve in the Inner Sphere. The Snake Leader continued to serve as the CSV Snake Leader throughout the 3060s.
Very active during the Wars of Reaving, the Snake Leader was involved in a number of battles fought by the Steel Vipers. On the 18th and 19th of December 3071 the Snake Leader was responsible for subjecting the last Clan Wolf presence in the Clan Homeworlds, the enclaves on Tranquil, to a sustained five-hour orbital bombardment, striking at them until nothing was left but dust.
Then, a year later, the Snake Leader struck again at the last holdings of a Clan exiled from the Homeworlds - in this case, the Clan Snow Raven holdings on Hellgate. The Society had successfully stirred up a rebellion within the Homeworlds, and one of their sources of support was the various enclaves of lower caste members abandoned by the Clans retreating to the Inner Sphere. The Snow Raven castes on Hellgate fought a defensive action against Second Viper Guards, successfully holding the Viper forces off through tactics such as collapsing a large swathe of mountainside onto the advancing Steel Viper forces.
Galaxy Commander Hoskins was incensed with the actions of the Ravens on Hellgate, and responded by having the Snake Leader bombard the planet from orbit shortly after it arrived in the Hellgate system. The systematic bombardment of the planet began with Gehenna City and then expanded in scope, with the Snake Leader striking at factories, power plants, various enclaves and other important facilities. By the time the Snake Leader had finished it's orbital bombardment the population of the planet had been reduced to less than fifty thousand people, who were left to eke out whatever existence they could manage as scavengers amidst the planetary badlands.
The last battle for the Snake Leader was the Trial of Annihilation fought in December 3075 that saw the Steel Vipers destroyed as a Clan. The Snake Leader had been fully repaired by the time the forces from Clans Blood Spirit, Cloud Cobra, Goliath Scorpion, Star Adder and Stone Lion arrived at the last major Steel Viper world, New Kent having presumably suffered damage during the Steel Viper assault against the Clan Coyote world of Tamaron the year before.
By the time the Trial of Annihilation reached New Kent the Snake Leader was serving as the Steel Viper flagship, and attempted to face off against the McKenna's Pride in one-on-one combat, but the assembled Clans opposing the Steel Vipers were determined not to extend the Vipers any honour at all. As a result, the Steel Viper was swiftly destroyed an hour into the battle after Cloud Cobra marines boarded the Lola III-class destroyer CSV Anaconda and managed to control key systems for long enough to have the Anaconda block the Snake Leader's broadside arc for several vital seconds. Those seconds were enough time for the McKenna's Pride to slip past the Anaconda and rip open the rear of the Snake Leader with a broadside; the Snake Leader was left venting into space as a series of catastrophic secondary explosions broke the ship's keel.
- Invading Clans, p. 92, "Front-Line Unit Summary"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 138-139, "Naval Assets"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 83, "Success!"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 111-112, "Constriction"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 150, "Focussed Aggression"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 142-143, "Viper's Venom"