This article is about the 65-ton BattleMech. For other uses, see Thunderbolt (disambiguation).
Production information
Manufacturer Blackstone BattleMechs Limited

Cosby BattleMech and Myomer Research Firm[1]

Earthwerks Incorporated[2][3]

Earthwerks Limited[4][5]

Liberty Arms[6]

Lüneburg Vehicle Corporation[7]

Olivetti Weaponry

Taurus Territorial Industries

Trellshire Heavy Industries

Vandenberg Mechanized Industries

Production Year 2491[8][9][10]
Model TDR-5S[2]
Class Heavy
Cost 5,413,760 C-Bills
Technical specifications
'Mech type Inner Sphere BattleMech
Mass 65 tons
Chassis Earthwerks TDR
Armor Ryerson 150
Engine Magna 260
Vlar 260[11]
Communications System Neil 8000
Targeting Tracking System RCA Instatrac Mark X
Heat Sinks 15 single
Speed 64 km/h
BV (1.0) 1,015
BV (2.0) 1,335[2][10][12]


The Thunderbolt started production in 2491 as a planetary-assault 'Mech, and in fact was one of the heaviest 'Mechs that could be produced at that time. Since then the 'Mech, known affectionately as the T-Bolt or sometimes as the Thud, has had its classification changed as larger 'Mechs were built. Thanks to periodic updates, it is still feared and respected by many. With its varied arsenal, the Thunderbolt remains one of the best-armed 'Mechs, making it capable of serving in many roles. It is also an incredibly well-armored 'Mech, rivaling or exceeding the amount of armor carried by some assault 'Mechs. One downside to the Thunderbolt armament is poor heat management.[9][10] The Thunderbolt is also noted for featuring an exceptionally roomy cockpit, compared to that of the Atlas or BattleMaster.[13]

The original TDR-1C Thunderbolt was the first BattleMech of Earthwerks Limited, as produced from their new plant on Tikonov. Despite the Confederation's relative inexperience with BattleMech technology, Earthwerks' Thunderbolt was impressive. The T-bolt set records in time between prototype and production, despite starting from scratch. The Thunderbolt's formidable performance caught the attention of the Confederation's neighbors and made Earthwerks a tremendous success.[14]

Within fifteen years,[15] Earthwerks expanded anti-spinward into the Free Worlds League,[14] choosing Keystone as the location to produce their upgraded TDR-5S. Olivetti Weaponry on Sudeten also picked up the design following their formation. During the Succession Wars this made House Steiner and House Marik the largest users of Thunderbolts, although they were eager to sell the design to the other Successor States. Thus Thunderbolts remained a traditionally Capellan 'Mech too, at least until the Fourth Succession War and Andurien Wars. The Taurian Concordat was one of the largest users of the Thunderbolt in the Periphery thanks to both Vandenberg Mechanized Industries and Taurus Territorial Industries acquiring and producing the 'Mech from their factories on Pinard and Taurus respectively, with many being sold to mercenary bands.[9][10][16]

Both Earthwerks and Olivetti introduced new Thunderbolt variants utilizing lostech just before the Clan Invasion, while the Taurian factories continued to churn out older models.[16] When Sudeten was conquered by Clan Jade Falcon, the Olivetti factory was lost to the Inner Sphere, and, though using outdated technology by Clan standards, it was still producing Thunderbolts into 3054.[17] Several years later, Earthwerks created an update to the aging Thunderbolt in the TDR-9M variant but ran into trouble with Irian BattleMechs Unlimited. Irian had just recently introduced the Tempest as their replacement for the ancient 'Mech and lobbied the League Central Coordination and Command to put a stop to any new Thunderbolts. A legal fight was brewing up when the Word of Blake stepped in and negotiated a compromise: the two designs would fight each other in a combat trial, with the winning design used to supply the Blakist military. The TDR-9M won and starting in April 3067 the Word of Blake began receiving their shipments of new Thunderbolts, followed shortly thereafter by the Free Worlds League Military.[18]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

Because of its eclectic weapons mix, the Thunderbolt does not have just one primary weapon. Its longest-range weapon is a Delta Dart LRM-15 missile launcher mounted in the right torso fed by a two-ton reload bin in the center torso. Next in its long range arsenal is a Sunglow Type 2 Large Laser mounted in the right arm (or ExoStar Large Laser[19]), which provides the Thunderbolt with respectable medium to long-range firepower. As ranges close, the Thunderbolt is able to bring its three Diverse Optics Type 18 medium lasers and a Bical SRM-2 missile launcher (or Harvester SRM-2[20]) into play. All three medium lasers are mounted in the left torso while the SRM launcher and one ton of reloads are mounted in the right. Finally for anti-infantry work the Thunderbolt has two Voelkers 200 Machine Guns (or SperryBrowning Machine Guns[20]) with one ton of ammo in the left arm.[9][10]

While an impressive arsenal, the Achilles' heel of the Thunderbolt is its miserly fifteen heat sinks which cannot cope with firing so many heat-intensive weapons. Thunderbolt pilots must take extra care to manage their heat levels lest they shut down or cause their ammo to cook off, and many will prefer to fight within bodies of water to better cool off their 'Mechs. Indeed most commanders will order their Thunderbolts into a waterhole at the outset of a battle so that they may fire their weapons more rapidly than normal.[9][10]

The thirteen tons of armor protecting the Thunderbolt, although no longer the most carried on a 'Mech, is still impressive given the fact many current assault models sport less protection than this ancient design. The thirteen and a half ton fusion engine powering the Thunderbolt gives it a maximum speed of 64.8 km/h.[9][10]


  • TDR-1C 
    This was the original Thunderbolt design produced in 2491 by Earthwerks Limited, built with Primitive Technology, until the introduction of the modern TDR-5S in 2505. The engine, armor, and cockpit were all early generation systems, less effective than later technology. As a result the original Thunderbolt had a top speed of 54 km/h and had to devote more weight to armor. Given its designed role as an assault 'Mech, this slow speed wasn't seen as a problem. Interestingly the weapons mix was the same as on the later TDR-5S that would appear on Succession Wars battlefields.[14]
  • TDR-5D 
    Introduced in 2821, the 5D is a radical departure from the 5S. All short-range weapons are replaced by an Autocannon/20 in the right torso supplied by two tons of ammunition. The left torso mounts an LRM-10 with one ton of ammunition, and 14 heat sinks keep the 'Mech ice-cold. BV (2.0) = 1,231[21][22]
  • TDR-5L 
    The so-called "Lost Thunderbolt," the 5L was a downgraded version of the Royal 5Sb Thunderbolt developed by Earthwerks Tikonov in 2823. Built on a more basic standard chassis, the now lostech ER PPC was swapped for a Diverse Optics Sunbeam ER Large Laser but most of the 5Sb's systems were preserved with only the loss of one double heat sink and the head-mounted Small Laser. Production of the design only lasted a mere twenty-seven years before further technology decline resulted in the 5LS. BV (2.0) = 1,546[23]
  • TDR-5LS 
    Developed in 2850 as the Second Succession War saw more and more technologies disappear, the 5LS was a downgraded field refit and a factory model of the now impossible to build 5L. While the ER Large Laser and Starfish Small Pulse Lasers were retained, the standard LRM-15 and Bical SRM-2 rack were noticeably less accurate than the 5L's more advanced launchers, but nothing compared to the replacement of the 5L's double heat sinks with fifteen standard models and the heat management issues that resulted. Production of even the "primitive" 5LS would end during the Third Succession War. BV (2.0) = 1,305[23]
  • TDR-5Sb 
    This SLDF Royal variant of the Thunderbolt was introduced in 2753 and uses Star League technology. An Endo Steel chassis provides more space for an updated weapon mix. The LRM launcher receives an Artemis IV fire control system while the SRM is replaced by a Streak SRM-2 launcher. Missile ammunition is protected by CASE. The large laser is replaced by an ER PPC, and a pair of Small Pulse Lasers replaces the machine guns. The medium lasers remain in place. Fourteen double heat sinks keep the MechWarrior comfortable. BV (2.0) = 1,618[24][25]
  • TDR-5Sb2 
    The early Royal variant, with a standard PPC.[26]
  • TDR-5Sd 
    This Star League-era Federated Suns refit of the Thunderbolt removes the LRM-15, machine guns and their ammunition and replaces them with an Ultra AC/5 with two tons of ammunition. For close in work, an extra medium laser is added and the large laser is traded for a Large Pulse Laser. It upgrades the heat sinks to twelve double-strength models. How many of these variants survived past the Star League Era is unknown.[27]
  • TDR-5SE 
    The 5SE variant of the Thunderbolt was introduced in 3000 for use by the Eridani Light Horse mercenary unit as a raider and reconnaissance 'Mech. Modified for mobility, this variant has had its SRM-2 launcher and the machine guns removed and the LRM-15 downgraded to an LRM-10 in order to add four jump jets, giving the 'Mech a jumping distance of one hundred and twenty meters.[2] The 'Mech has also had two heat sinks added to help dissipate its heat load better.[9] BV (1.0) = 1,180, BV (2.0) = 1,414[28]
  • TDR-5SS 
    The 5SS Thunderbolt is a Steiner variant introduced in 2930 that depends more on direct long-range fire instead of missiles. The 'Mech carries a Kreuss PPC as its primary weapon in its right arm, replaces the LRM launcher for an SRM-6 and removes the SRM-2 to make room for a Zippo Mark IX Flamer in the right torso.[2] To help with the 'Mech's added heat load, the 5SS variant has twenty one heat sinks.[9] BV (1.0) = 1,077, BV (2.0) = 1,337[29]
  • TDR-5S (C) 
    A Clan retrofit of the original TDR-5S Thunderbolt built in 3050, the Thunderbolt C replaces only the original weaponry — all structural components are unaltered. The standard weapon systems have been replaced with a Clan Large Pulse Laser, a single torso-mounted ER Large Laser, an arm-mounted ER medium laser and two ER small lasers.[30] The saved weight is used to increase the number of heat sinks to 24.[31] BV (2.0) = 1,593[32]
  • TDR-7M 
    Upgraded with Star League technology in 3049 by Earthwerks Incorporated, the 7M has been rearmored using ferro-fibrous armor, reducing the weight of the armor to eleven and a half tons while maintaining the same level of protection. The saved weight has allowed the 'Mech's weapons to be upgraded as well. With an arsenal based on the 5S model, the 7M carries an LRM-15 missile launcher in the right torso, a Diverse Optics Sunbeam ER Large Laser in the right arm, three medium lasers and a Hovertec Streak SRM-2 launcher in the left torso, and a pair of machine guns in the left arm. Two tons of LRM reloads are kept in the right torso while one ton each of Streak and machine gun ammo are kept in the left torso. Additionally, the heat sinks have been upgraded to double heat sinks and CASE has been added to protect against ammunition explosion.[16] BV (1.0) = 1,338, BV (2.0) = 1,495[33]
  • TDR-7S 
    Introduced in 3091 at Trellshire Heavy Industries, this Thunderbolt returned to the successful design paradigm of missiles and lasers supported by heavy armor. A Heavy-Duty Gyro improved battlefield longevity. Thirteen tons of armor protect the 'Mech. An ER Large Laser, LRM-15, and SRM-2 are present, but the three medium lasers have been replaced by extended range versions. A pair of Small X-Pulse Lasers in the left arm provide anti-infantry capability. Two tons of LRM ammunition and a ton of SRM ammunition are stored in the left torso in a CASE II-protected bay. BV (2.0) = 1,582[34]
  • TDR-7SE 
    The 7SE variant introduced in 3067 takes the upgrade of the Thunderbolt even further. The structure has been redesigned to use an Endo Steel structure and the 'Mech also uses Ferro-Fibrous armor and double heat sinks to further save weight. The saved weight has been used to focus the role of the 7SE into a long-range 'Mech. The 'Mech's maneuverability has been enhanced with four jump jets for a jumping distance of one hundred and twenty meters while the primary weapon is a Gauss rifle. This is backed up by three Medium Pulse Lasers in the torso with a fourth mounted on the left arm and, finally, the 7SE carries a Guardian ECM Suite to protect against advanced enemy electronics.[3] BV (1.0) = 1,737, BV (2.0) = 1,809[35]
  • TDR-8M 
    Released by Earthwerks in 3058 in the wake of Operation GUERRERO, the TDR-8M was the first model to feature the visual facelift common to Thunderbolts produced from the mid-3060s through the end of the Jihad. Based on the TDR-7M, the 8M drops the machine guns, Streak SRM-2, their associated ammunition, and the right torso CASE in order to mount four jump jets in the legs. Although the traditional three medium lasers are upgraded to new extended-range models, an additional double heat sink in the left torso helps to offset the greater thermal stress. BV (2.0) = 1,644[36]
  • TDR-9M 
    The 9M was Earthwerks' attempt in 3067 to rebuild the Thunderbolt for the modern era, modifying it to excel at long-range combat. The 'Mech is built using an Endo Steel chassis and has twelve and a half tons of armor, using angled and sloped Starshield A armor to further increase protection. The 'Mech has excellent maneuverability with four jump jets further enhanced with flight stabilizers built into the design. The 'Mech's primary weapon is an Imperator Automatic Light Gauss Rifle mounted in the right arm. This is supported for long-range combat with a Delta Dart LRM-15 launcher in the right torso and three Diverse Optics ER medium lasers in the left torso for close combat situation. One ton of Gauss slugs and two tons of LRM reloads are protected by CASE in the right torso. Finally the cockpit itself was changed, based on feedback from a number of Thunderbolt pilots who felt they were sitting out in front of the 'Mech. The more open cockpit of the 9M was moved over to the left torso, which also helps protect the pilot from flying shrapnel in case the Gauss rifle explodes.[3] BV (1.0) = 1,500, BV (2.0) = 1,648[37]
  • TDR-9NAIS 
    Using some of the newest technology available in the Federated Suns, the 9NAIS was built in 3067 by NAIS on an Endo Steel structure and utilizes an XL engine for power, giving it a ground speed of 86.4 km/h. The 'Mech is armored with twelve tons of armor for protection and has an entirely updated weapons payload. The primary weapon is a rotary autocannon/5 which can fire at six times the normal rate of fire. Supporting it are three ER medium lasers and a Streak SRM-6. The lasers and rotary autocannon are linked to an advanced Targeting Computer. Finally, for added protection against enemy electronics, the 'Mech has a Guardian ECM suite.[3] BV (1.0) = 1,637. BV (2.0) = 1,864[39]
  • TDR-9S 
    Based on the older 5SS model, the 9S was built in 3050 by Olivetti Weaponry using off-the-shelf structural components and armor after extensive changes delayed production. The 'Mech is armed with a Defiance 1001 ER PPC in its right arm as its primary long-range firepower. This is supported at closer ranges by a TharHes Maxi SRM-6 in the left torso along with the original three medium lasers. While retaining the left arm machine guns, in the right torso it carries a pair of Zippo flamers and a SureFire 444 anti-missile system, along with one ton of AMS ammo.[3] BV (1.0) = 1,244, BV (2.0) = 1,494[40]
  • TDR-9SE 
    The 9SE variant of the Thunderbolt was introduced in 3050 as the Eridani Light Horse's update to the 5SE, based primarily around an energy weapons arsenal and maneuverability. The 'Mech is armed with a Magna Longbow-10 LRM-10 missile launcher for long-range combat. For close to medium ranges, the 'Mech carries a Thunderbolt-12 Large Pulse Laser and three Diverse Optics Type 18 medium lasers. Of note is the shifting of the missile launcher and its one ton of reloads from the right torso to the left. The additional mobility of the 9SE comes from its four HildCo Model 12 jump jets, originally manufactured in the St. Ives Compact, giving it a jumping distance of one hundred and twenty meters. BV (1.0) = 1,355, BV (2.0) = 1,439[41]
  • TDR-9T 
    This 3083 variant uses an XL engine to push its top speed to 96 km/h. It uses an LRM-10, a pair of Light PPCs and three ER medium lasers. An Endo Steel skeleton provides the weight savings needed to install these weapons and engine. BV (2.0) = 1,589[42]
  • TDR-9W 
    This variant was built by Blackwell Industries for Wolf's Dragoons and it was based on a configuration from the Golden Century.[43] Four jump jets let it cover 120 meters per jump. Fifteen double heat sinks dissipate the heat from various Clan-spec weapons. The right arm carries a Clan-spec Large Pulse Laser, the three torso-mounted lasers are Clan-spec Medium Pulse Lasers, and the LRM-10 is also Clan-spec and equipped with an Artemis IV FCS. Two tons of LRM ammo are carried in the left torso in a CASE-protected bin. Twelve tons of Inner Sphere-spec ferro-fibrous armor provides maximum protection. BV (2.0) = 1,985[44]
  • TDR-10M 
    This 3082 variant uses an Endo Steel chassis and maximizes the amount of armor protection available. It relies on various PPCs for its main weaponry, mounting a Heavy PPC, Light PPC, and Snub-Nose PPC on the same chassis. The LRM and SRM systems have been replaced by a single MML-5, and an ER medium laser completes the weapons loadout. A light fusion engine allows the 10M to reach a top speed of 64 km/h, and four jump jets allow this T-Bolt to move through tight terrain. BV (2.0) = 1,727[45]
  • TDR-10S 
    This Dark Age era variant carries an ER Large Laser and ER PPC in its arms for long range sniping, while 14 double heat sinks provide enough cooling to fire these weapons on the move. An LRM-15 with 16 salvos supports the direct-fire weapons, while three ER medium lasers come into play at 360 meters. It uses a light fusion engine to provide power, and carries four jump jets. An Endo Steel chassis frees weight for CASE, equipment, and weaponry. BV (2.0) = 1,766[46]
  • TDR-10SE 
    Introduced in 3067, the 10SE is built around new technologies. The 'Mech has an Endo Steel chassis and is armored with twelve and a half tons of armor. The use of MASC gives it superior maneuverability capable of bursts of speed up to 86.4 km/h and four jump jets gives it a jumping capability of one hundred twenty meters. Finally, the 'Mech's arsenal includes an ER PPC and three ER medium lasers which are linked to a Targeting Computer and an LRM-10 launcher. The 'Mech uses a Guardian ECM suite to help defend against advanced enemy targeting and communications systems. BV (1.0) = 1,630, BV (2.0) = 2,008[47]
  • TDR-11S 
    Developed during the Dark Age as an updated -9S,[43] this variant carries two machine guns in the left arm and two more in the right torso. An anti-missile system is carried in the right torso. Three ER medium lasers are mounted in the left torso, and this is supplemented by an SRM-6. Main firepower comes from an ER PPC in the right arm. Fifteen double heat sinks are fitted and a Heavy-Duty Gyro is also present. BV (2.0) = 1,570[48]
  • TDR-11SE 
    A newer variant of the Thunderbolt first built in 3069, the 11SE uses some of the newest technologies available in the Inner Sphere thanks to the modern Earthwerks facilities on Keystone. The 'Mech is armed with a new Ceres Arms Thrasher Snub-Nose PPC that is excellent for close range combat with a short range of two hundred and seventy meters and has an effective range out to four hundred and fifty meters. The 'Mech also has a Doombud MML-7 launcher which is capable of firing both LRM and SRM ammunition. For close combat, the 11SE has three Diverse Optics ER medium lasers. This variant has added mobility by adding improved jump jets that allow it to jump up to one hundred and eighty meters. The lasers and PPCs are linked to an advanced Targeting Computer and the 'Mech has a Guardian ECM Suite to defend it against enemy electronic warfare systems.[49] BV (2.0) = 1,754[50]
  • TDR-12R 
    This variant, built on Tikonov and used by the Republic of the Sphere, is intended to anchor and support vehicle formations. With a top speed of 54 km/h it won't break any speed records, but can keep up with most battle armor and combat vehicle formations. The standard armor is replaced by Reflective Armor and ammunition has been stored in a CASE II-protected bay. The right arm carries a plasma rifle, while the right torso carries a pair of Thunderbolt 5 launchers. The left torso is equipped with a Clan-spec LRM-15, and the traditional medium lasers of the left torso have been replaced by three Small Variable Speed Pulse Lasers. The left arm carries a pair of standard medium lasers. Twelve double heat sinks handle the heat load. BV (2.0) = 1,975[51]
  • TDR-17S 
    This 3070 refit uses an Endo Steel internal structure and eleven and a half tons of ferro-fibrous armor. These weight savings allowed the design to use a compact engine and Heavy-Duty Gyro. Offensively, an ER PPC provides long-range damage, while four medium pulse lasers deal accurate damage up close. These weapons can overwhelm the ten double heat sinks, so Triple Strength Myomer is included to help speed the 'Mech up. It also uses four jump jets for added maneuverability and a Guardian ECM Suite which wreaks havoc on enemy electronics. BV (2.0) = 1,803[52]
  • TDR-60-RLA 
    Apparently a variant on the 9NAIS, the 60-RLA was first spotted in 3072 and adds enough jump jets to vault up to 150 meters at a time. Like the 17S, the RLA also uses eleven and a half tons of ferro-fibrous armor and Triple Strength Myomer. Both arms have hands and lack weapons, but are able to take off an enemy's head with the TSM activated. In order to build up this heat, it mounts a pair of Snub-Nose PPCs, three ER medium lasers, two medium pulse lasers, two small lasers, and a small pulse laser. Twelve double heat sinks dissipate some of the heat these weapons build. BV (2.0) = 1,975[53]
  • Thunderbolt
    This is a field refit created by the Clans during Operation REVIVAL. Captured Inner Sphere Thunderbolts were refitted and used by garrison and solahma troops. The Thunderbolt C had a Large Pulse Laser in the right arm, an ER Large Laser in the left torso, and the left arm carried an ER medium laser and a pair of ER small lasers. Twenty-four single heat sinks are fitted to the legs and all the torsos. BV (2.0) = 1,671[54]
  • Thunderbolt C 2 
    This variant was developed by Clan Jade Falcon after they recaptured Sudeten. Based on the Thunderbolt C, this model has an ER PPC in the right arm while the left arm carries an ER medium laser and a pair of ER small lasers. The left torso carries a Streak SRM-6, three ER medium lasers, and a ton of Streak ammunition. The right torso carries two small pulse lasers and an anti-missile system with a ton of ammunition. To make room for this equipment, the twenty-four heat sinks have been replaced by seventeen double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 2,170[55]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • TDR-5S-T Thunderbolt Tallman 
    The personal 'Mech of Bremond DMM commander Leftenant-General Mary Tallman during the DCMS' Third Succession War invasion of Galtor III, only the large laser remains, with the rest of the standard weaponry replaced with a brace of four medium lasers in each side torso. The remaining weight and space is devoted to eight additional heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,447[56]
  • TDR-10M Thunderbolt Ilyena 
    Used by the lance commander of Lamenkov's Liability, this Thunderbolt removes the Snub-Nose PPC of the original TDR-10M and replaces it with a C3 master computer and an additional Light PPC in the left torso. In every other respect, it is a standard TDR-10M. BV (2.0) = 1,616[57]
  • TDR-10M Thunderbolt Tsakalotos 
    This custom Thunderbolt refitted by Salazar Tsakalotos uses the standard TDR-10M as a base. Equipped with Stealth Armor and a Guardian ECM, it's much harder to hit than a standard Thunderbolt. The weapons have also changed: A plasma rifle replaces the Heavy PPC, and to cover the 'Mech's rear an experimental Small Variable Speed Pulse Laser is mounted in the head. For anti-infantry work the 'Mech carries a flamer in the right torso. A medium pulse laser is also fitted in place of the ER medium model used in standard Thunderbolts, and it keeps the Snub-Nose PPC, Light PPC, and MML-5 of the original TDR-10M. To make room for this equipment, the 'Mech's jumping range is reduced to 90 meters. BV (2.0) = 1,856[58]

Component Upgrades[edit]

Component upgrades are manufactured on the following planets:

Component Variant Manufactured on Manufactured by References
Earthwerks TDR II Endo Steel TDR-9M Keystone Earthwerks Incorporated [59]
Hovertek Streak SRM-2 TDR-9M Oriente Oriente Weapon Works [60][59]
Imperator Automatic Weaponry Light Gauss Rifle TDR-9M ??? ??? [59]
Diverse Optics ER Medium Laser TDR-9M ??? ??? [59]
Delta Dart LRM-15 TDR-9M ??? ??? [59]
TharHes Maxi SRM-6 Various Tharkad TharHes Industries [61]
Zippo Flamer TDR-5SS
Hesperus II Defiance Industries of Hesperus II [62]
Defiance 1001 ER PPC TDR-9S Hesperus II Defiance Industries of Hesperus II [62]
Jolassa-328 Ferro-Fibrous with CASE TDR-9M Umka Kerr-McGinniss [63][59]
Vlar 300 Fusion Engine TDR-?? Edasich Edasich Motors [64]


Taurian Concordat[edit]

Following the Reunification War, Toro factories in the Taurian Concordat were closed and dismantled by the Star League with the aim of reducing Taurian nationalism. In their stead, production facilities were laid down for ‘Mechs more closely associated with the Star League.[65]

There were two 'Mech facilities, located at Taurus[11] and Pinard[66], producing the classic Thunderbolt TDR-5S version in the Taurian Concordat. These facilities are owned by Taurus Territorial Industries (“TTI”) and Vandenberg Mechanized Industries (“VMI”) respectively.

All component parts for the Thunderbolt were manufactured within the Concordant. TTI and VMI would also share components with each other where they are not manufactured by another corporation within the Concordat. The two Thunderbolts produced were essentially the same with the exception of:

  • The fusion engine. TTI built the Vlar 260 and presumably outfitted all of its Thunderbolts with this specific engine, while the VMI version uses the classic Magna 260.[11]

During the Jihad era, Thunderbolt production within the Taurian Concordat was severely disrupted and in some cases destroyed. The SRM-2 weapons manufacturing facilities on Perdition were destroyed and the weapons facilities on Sterope and MacLeod's Land badly damaged. Even worse, the entirety of the TTI facilities on the capital of Taurus were destroyed.[67]

Design Quirks[edit]

The Thunderbolt and variants, unless specified otherwise, are subject to the following the following Design Quirks:[68]

The TDR-1C Thunderbolt variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[14]

Notable pilots[edit]

See: Category:Notable Thunderbolt Pilots

Related Designs[edit]


  • Image differences - The (original) Thunderbolt variants and artwork from 3025 were part of the Unseen 'Mech designs. The Thunderbolt was Reseen in 3067 with new variants using revised artwork. By 2016-2017, Catalyst Game Labs introduced a new image for the earlier Thunderbolt, essentially replacing the original Unseen art work from TRO: 3025 & TRO: 3050.
  • Replacement Art - The Thunderbolt Unseen appearance was replaced by a new image. This art first appeared in the Second Succession War sourcebook. The replacement image, like other Unseen art work replacements, have been given the label of "Classic" image versus "Unseen". The "Reseen" label is still used for the remodeled Thunderbolt and others introduced in 2003's Technical Readout: Project Phoenix.
  • In German products, the unit's proper name was translated to Donnerkeil. The model code was changed accordingly to DNR-5S.
  • In French products, the unit's proper name was translated as Foundre, or lightning.



  1. Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 20: "Cosby BattleMech and Myomer Research Firm"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Technical Readout: Succession Wars, pp. 124–125: "TDR-5S Thunderbolt"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Technical Readout: Clan Invasion, pp. 146–147: "TDR-9M Thunderbolt"
  4. Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 3, p. 7
  5. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 7
  6. Objectives: Periphery, p. 6: "Liberty Arms"
  7. Operational Turning Points: Hanseatic Crusade, p. 3: "Braunschweig" planet profile
  8. Era Digest: Age of War, p. 11 and p. 22
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Technical Readout: 3025, p. 90
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 295
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Objective Raids, p. 162
  12. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 479
  13. A Guy Walks Into a Bar on Solaris VII...
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Experimental Technical Readout: Primitive Volume III, p. 7
  15. MUL online date for the TDR-5S Thunderbolt
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Technical Readout: 3050, p. 160
  17. Objective Raids, p. 60
  18. Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 32
  19. Objective Raids, p. 93
  20. 20.0 20.1 Objective Raids, p. 159
  21. Record Sheets: Succession Wars, p. 183
  22. MUL online entry for the TDR-5D variant
  23. 23.0 23.1 Second Succession War, pp. 116–117: "Rules Annex - Technical Readout - TDR-5L/5LS Thunderbolt"
  24. Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 45
  25. Historical: Operation Klondike, p.160
  26. MUL entry for Thunderbolt TDR-5Sb2
  27. Era Report: 2750, p. 129
  28. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 480
  29. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 481
  30. The Battle for Twycross, pp. 48–49
  31. Battle of Tukayyid Supplemental, p. 176
  32. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 148
  33. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 134
  34. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 7
  35. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 135
  36. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 6
  37. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 136
  38. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 138
  39. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 137
  40. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 139
  41. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 140
  42. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 142
  43. 43.0 43.1 Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 6
  44. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 32
  45. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 255
  46. Record Sheets: 3145 New Tech, New Upgrades, p. 148
  47. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 143
  48. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 33
  49. Tinker, Sprinter and "Angry"
  50. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 144
  51. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 7
  52. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 145
  53. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 147
  54. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 35
  55. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 15, p. 36
  56. Historical Turning Points: Galtor, p. 20
  57. BattleTech Dossiers: Lamenkov's Liability, p. 18
  58. BattleTech Dossiers: Salazar Tsakalotos, p. 6
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 59.4 59.5 Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 42
  60. Objective Raids, p. 133
  61. Objective Raids, p. 82
  62. 62.0 62.1 Objective Raids, p. 76
  63. Objective Raids, p. 138,
  64. Objective Raids, p. 84
  65. Technical Readout: 3075, p. 296
  66. Objective Raids, p. 160
  67. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 117: "Taurian Concordat"
  68. BattleMech Manual, p. 95: Design Quirk Table - Thunderbolt entry