At the edge of formality
Mass: 65 tons
Chassis: Earthwerks TDR
Power Plant: Magna 260
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armor: Ryerson 150
- 1 Sunglo w Type
- 2 Large Laser
- 1 Delta Dart Long Range Missile 15 Rack
- 3 Diverse Optics Type 18 Medium Lasers
- 1 Bical Short Range Missile Twin-Rack
- 2 Voelkers 200 Machine Guns
Manufacturer: Earthwerks Incorporated
Primary Factory: Keystone
Communications System: Neil 8000
Targeting and Tracking System: RCA Instatrac Mark X
First produced in 2491, the TDR-5S Thunderbolt— or T-Bolt as it is aﬀ ectionately known—is a familiar sight throughout the Successor States. One of the ﬁ rst ’Mechs designed for planetary assaults, it is renowned for its heavy ﬁ repower. Though later superseded by larger and more advanced designs, the Thunderbolt’s excellent design and fearsome reputation has kept it in production.
One of the best-armed ’Mechs in existence, the Thun- derbolt’s long-range punch come from a Sunglow Type 2 large laser and a drum-mounted Delta Dart LRM 15 launch- er, while three Diverse Optics Type 18 medium lasers provide a formidable broadside at closer ranges. A Bical SRM twin-rack and a pair of anti-infantry Voelkers 200 machine guns round out the weaponry. The Thunderbolt’s thirteen tons of Ryerson 150 armor is another impressive feature, often outclassing ’Mechs nearly twenty-ﬁve tons heavier. The ’Mech’s heavy weaponry is also its Achilles heel, as MechWarriors must ride the heat curve carefully or else risk shutdown and ammunition explosions. Many commanders order their Thunderbolts into bodies of water on the battle-ﬁeld, allowing them to better utilize their armaments.
Used extensively by every military across the Inner Sphere and Periphery, Thunderbolts appear in heavy lances and even light assault forces. Houses Steiner and Marik are the ’Mechs primary users, though these mercantile nations have sold production runs to other states. House Liao used to ﬁeld signiﬁcant numbers of the ’Mech, though the destruction of the Fourth Succession War and Andurien War severely curtailed this number. In the Periphery, the Tau- rian Concordat—with two Thunderbolt factories—uses the ’Mech as the backbone of its military.
Surprisingly for such an ancient design, only two major variants of the Thunderbolt exist. The Steiner TDR-5SS replaces the Sunglow large laser with a Kreuss PPC, substitutes the LRM rack for an SRM-6, and exchanges the Bical SRM pack for two Zippo ﬂ amers. The Eridani Light Horse mercenaries have adapted their Thunderbolts to act as raiding and reconnaissance units. The TDR-5SE adds Chilton 420 jump jets and an LRM-10 rack at the expense of the LRM-15, the SRM twin-rack, and machine guns