Thunderbird (Aerospace Fighter class)

This article is about the aerospace fighter. For the battle armor, see Thunderbird (Battle Armor).
Thunderbird ASF 3057.png
Production information
Manufacturer Alliance Aerospace Group[1]

Lockheed-CBM Corporation[2]

Pinard Protectorates Limited[3]

Taurus Territorial Industries[4]

Wangker Aerospace[5]

Production Year 2480[6]
Model TRB-D36
Class Heavy aerospace fighter
Tech Base Inner Sphere[2]
Cost 6,610,500 C-bills[7]
Technical specifications
Mass 100 tons[2]
Structural Integrity 10[8]
Frame Lockheed/CBM 300-TRB[2]
Power Plant Vlar 300[2]
Armor L/CBM AeroSteel
Fuel 5 tons (400 points)
Communications System Neil 6000-a[2]
Tracking & Targeting System N&D Longreach[2]
Heat Sinks 25 single heat sinks[2]
BV (1.0) 1,525[7][9]
BV (2.0) 1,876[2]


While sporting a large and rather unconventional look, the Thunderbird is an old standby design and one of the most common, if dated, heavy aerospace fighters in use across the Inner Sphere in the mid thirty-first century.[2]

Created in 2480 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.[2]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

Mounting a laser-intensive weapons load, the Thunderbird is well suited to both dogfighting and strafing runs. A FarFire Maxi-Rack LRM-20 in each wing is supplemented by a RAMTech 1200 large laser and Maxwell medium laser, with further large and medium lasers mounted in the fighter's awkward nose. Four tons of missile reloads give the LRM launchers reasonable combat endurance, while two aft-mounted medium lasers discourage pursuit.[2]


Design Quirks[edit]

The TRB-XTS Thunderbird variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[20]

Notable Pilots[edit]

  • Dustin Weaver piloted one of the last functional Star League D46 models during the Succession Wars. A famed ace, Weaver led a heavy fighter squadron as part of the LCS Invincible's relief mission to Hesperus II in 2853. He shot down at least ten DCMS fighters, while his squadron downed two assault DropShips and a Vigilant-class corvette. Weaver stayed on Hesperus rather than return to Tharkad with the ill-fated WarShip. Four years later, Weaver was still assigned to the defense of Hesperus when Combine forces attacked. Weaver was killed in an attack run on an Overlord DropShip.[21]


  • 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, pages 286–287.
  • In German products, the unit's proper name was translated to Donnervogel. The model code was accordingly changed before, but altered after the hyphen to DRV-G4.



  1. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 92: "Alliance Aerospace Group"
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Technical Readout: 3075, pp. 286–287: "TRB-36D Thunderbird"
  3. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 119: "Pinard Protectorate Limited"
  4. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 118: "Taurus Territorial Industries"
  5. Handbook: House Davion, p. 184: "Wanker Aerospace"
  6. 6.0 6.1 MUL online date for the Thunderbird (Aerospace Fighter class)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Combat Operations, p. 138: "Force Faction Tables"
  8. Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 91
  9. AeroTech 2 Record Sheets, p. 187
  10. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 208
  11. 11.0 11.1 MUL online date for the TRB-D36b Thunderbird variant
  12. Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 91
  13. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 161
  14. 14.0 14.1 MUL online date for the TRB-D46 Thunderbird variant
  15. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 209
  16. 16.0 16.1 MUL online date for the TRB-D50 Thunderbird variant
  17. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 210
  18. 18.0 18.1 MUL online date for the TRB-D56 Thunderbird variant
  19. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 211
  20. 20.0 20.1 Experimental Technical Readout: Periphery, p. 13: "TRB-XTS Thunderbird"
  21. Technical Readout: 3075, p. 286