Thunderbolt (65t)
Model by Primus
The Thunderbolt once was a familiar 'Mech throughout the Successor States. First produced in 2491, it was used extensively in assault lances of the era. Known for its heavy armament and hard-hitting assault capability, the Thunderbolt remains a favorite of many MechWarriors. The TDR-5S Thunderbolt was one of the first 'Mechs designed for planetary assault. In its early years, it was also one of the heaviest assault 'Mechs possible to produce. As technology advanced, the Thunderbolt was inevitably superseded by larger, more advanced heavy 'Mechs. Because of its excellent design, however, the Thunderbolt remained in production, and some of the newer technology was added to its sub-assemblies. The Thunderbolt remains one of the best-armed 'Mechs in existence. Its standard large laser packs a punch that few 'Mechs of any type can withstand. Combined with its three medium lasers and its drum-mounted LRM 15-rack, the Thunderbolt has more than ample firepower at long and medium ranges. For close-in combat, the 'Mech also carries a Bical short-range missile twin rack and two machine guns. There are very few opponent 'Mechs that can match this kind of firepower. The Thunderbolt's armor is another of the 'Mech's impressive features. Though not the heaviest armor known today, it is still considered substantial, and many newer heavy 'Mechs have considerably less. With all its heavy weaponry, however, the Thunderbolt is more susceptible to heat buildup than many other 'Mechs. Careful salvo firing of the Thunderbolt's weapons is a must if the vehicle is to avoid heat overload and shutdown.