Seeking: M/S-pad pirate ship (not python), convoy attack plans

I require a M/S-pad pirate ship, but want to make things more interesting than rolling with the classic or going overkill.

I need to be able to pirate one and survive against several NPC Anacondas and T9s.

I dream of putting a hulltank Cobra 4, a silent-running spee-agle or even some Dolphin to use, but welcome any and all ideas.
A Gunship might be fun in that role. All 3 of the fed ships could be useable, if you manage the relatively weak shields. The Gunship can mount an SLF too, boosting your versatility.
Federal Dropship. Great internals, cheap, and low naval rank requirements. Dirty drives to chase down your quarry, bi-weaves for rapid regen and a mix of hardpoint options (including a class 3). A lot of people assume dropship is the poorest of the three (medium) federal options; this is not, uh, entirely accurate.

Viper Mk IV is potentially an option, if you'd prefer Plan B. Engineered, they are surprisingly tanky (anyone who has had to clobber an Elite ranked Viper Mk IV in a CZ knows how ridiculous they can get); they have okay internals but you are going to struggle with module proliferation for small ships.
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