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|Manufacturer|| Lockheed-CBM Corporation|
Pinard Protectorates Limited
Alliance Aerospace Group
Taurus Territorial Industries
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Power Plant||Vlar 300|
|Fuel||5 tons (400 points)|
|Communications System||Neil 6000-a|
|Tracking & Targeting System||N&D Longreach|
|BV (2.0)|| 1,876|
While sporting a large and rather unconventional look, the Thunderbird is an old standby design, one of the most common if dated heavy Aerospace Fighters in use across the Inner Sphere in the mid 31st century.
Created in 2487 as part of an alliance between the Lockheed Corporation of Gibbs and CBM Aerospace of Donegal, the original Thunderbird was built for the LCAF as an assault fighter, well suited to air-to-ground attack and DropShip escort missions in the so-called Age of War. Despite its less than sleek look, the sturdy and dependable Thunderbird spread across the Star League as a number of other manufacturers were able to precisely duplicate the fighter, ensuring the design survived the centuries.
Weapons and Equipment
Mounting a laser-intensive weapons load, the Thunderbird is well suited to both dogfighting and strafing runs. A FarFire Maxi-Rack LRM-20s in each wing is supplemented by a RAMTech 1200 Large and Maxwell Medium Laser, with further large and medium laser mounted in fighter's awkward nose. Four tons of missile reloads give the LRM launchers reasonable combat endurance, while two aft mounted medium lasers discourage pursuit.
- This version of the Thunderbird developed in 2715, mounted an ER Large Laser, Gauss Rifle, and Medium Laser in each wing. The nose carried an ER Large Laser and a pair of medium lasers. The D36b carried two tons of Gauss Rifle ammunition and twenty four double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 2,826
- A Star League era variant developed in 2724 originally used by the LCAF and SLDF that was reintroduced in 3055. It uses 3 ER Large Lasers and Artemis IV FCS enhanced LRM-15s in place of the LRM-20s with 4 tons of ammo. Other improvements includes 1 less heat sink but all 24 remaining are Double Heat Sinks; an extra ton of fuel (480 pts) and five more tons of armor. BV (2.0)= 2,320
- A variant developed by Pinard Protectorates Limited in 3065, the D50 uses Ferro-Aluminum armor and lacks LRMs. A second medium laser is added to each wing. The medium laser from the nose is replaced with an AC/10 and two tons of ammunition. The rest of the saved weight is spent on nine more standard heat sinks and an increase in armor. BV (2.0)= 1,828
- Developed by Lockheed/CBM in 3074 from the D46, the D56 is a heavy fighter/DropShip hunter which uses an XL Engine, seventeen tons of Ferro-Aluminum armor and twenty double heat sinks. The D56 is armed with a Heavy PPC and Ultra AC/10 in the nose and twin tail-mounted ER Small Lasers in its tail, backed up by Artemis enhanced LRM-20s and wing mounted ER Medium Lasers. BV (2.0)= 2,665
- This Thunderbird refit was developed by the Word of Blake through a shell company, Rim Salvage in . The Thunderbird carried a Rotary AC/5 in each wing, along with a Large Pulse Laser equipped with a Laser Insulator. The main weapons, however, were the paired Centurion Weapon Systems in the nose. These could (in theory) shut down an enemy craft without inflicting damage on it. Nineteen double heat sinks and fifteen tons of Ferro-Aluminum armor protected the craft. BV (2.0) = 2,494
The Thunderbird was introduced in the AeroTech as one of the six original designs, but lacked model number, release date, or any description beyond its game stats. Randall Bills, the FanPro BattleTech Line Developer, provided a few more details (era, model number) in the official file released with HeavyMetal Aero. The Thunderbird was finally detailed at length in Technical Readout 3075, pp. 286-287.
- Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 286-287, "TRB-36D Thunderbird"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 184, "Wanker Aerospace"
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 119, "Pinard Protectorate Limited"
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 92, "Alliance Aerospace Group"
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 118, "Taurus Territorial Industries"
- MUL online date for the Thunderbird
- Combat Operations, p. 138, "Force Faction Tables"
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 91
- AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 187
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 208
- MUL online date for the TRB-D36b Thunderbird variant
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 91
- MUL online date for the TRB-D46 Thunderbird variant
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 209
- MUL online date for the TRB-D50 Thunderbird variant
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 210
- MUL online date for the TRB-D56 Thunderbird variant
- Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 211
- Experimental Technical Readout: Periphery, p. 13, "TRB-XTS Thunderbird"