- Starfury has other uses. Please see Starfury (disambiguation) for other meanings.
The Thunderbolt was first deployed in 2260, the same year the Earth Alliance Civil War broke out. The Earth-Alliance ThunderBolt is one of, if not the most powerful fighter of all the younger races, with the exception of the Nial class fighter used by the Minbari.
Unlike previous production model Starfurys, the Thunderbolt is capable of atmospheric maneuvering through the use of deployable airfoils mounted on the main engine pods. The frame of the craft is extended and has a smoother shape for aerodynamic purposes. This fighter has a crew of two who sit in the traditional fighter plane position and operate the controls using a combination of hand, foot, eye and voice commands; the repositioning, though, means the pilots are more vulnerable to G-Forces than in older Starfury models. The ejection system throws the cockpit module upwards rather than forward; there are a pair of secondary thrust charges mounted at the rear of the upper surface that fire at the same time as ejectors in order to push the body in the opposite direction and prevent the module from colliding with the rear third of the craft.
Thunderbolts mount 4 advanced pulse cannons in an underslung position beneath the cockpit. The Thunderbolt also has hardpoints for up to 10 extra weapons (usually missiles), enabling it to also serve as a light bomber for planetary strikes. Despite the increase in size and mass, the Thunderbolt's improved engines are able to maintain the Starfury's impressive maneuverability and give it an even higher forward speed, although at the cost of slightly slower braking.
|Earthforce Ship Classes|
|Olympus-class corvette Hyperion-class heavy cruiser Nova-class dreadnought Omega-class destroyer Advanced Omega-class destroyer Warlock-class destroyer|
|SA-23E Starfury SA-32A Thunderbolt Stealth Starfury Heavy Starfury Badger-class Starfury|
|Earthforce One Magnum heavy lifter Breaching pod Troop Transport Kestrel Class Atmospheric Shuttle Crew Shuttle|
|Aegis orbital defense platform Life pod Work pod Gunship Explorer class ship Cotten class Deep Penetration Tender Shadow Hybrid|