This Thunderfighter is a medium starfighter used by the Earth Defense Directorate to protect Earth and all starships in service in with the Earth government. The fighter is very maneuverable and heavily armed. It can launch and land under its own power but often uses electromagnetic launch systems to reach a greater initial velocity than would be otherwise possible.
The fighter is built around two needle like "booms" Both booms have sharp noses and the fighter's twin engines are mounted at the aft end. Between the two booms is the fighter's cockpit which comes in two configurations. The first contains a position for the pilot and a second compartment for a passenger behind the pilot. The passenger compartment faces aft. The second configuration is one large cockpit that seats four in two ranks of two seats. The front two seats are for the pilot and co-pilot/weapons officer. The cockpit is rather blocky and has few rounded surfaces. The fighter has delta style wings and two control surfaces facing downwards near the rear of the fighter. An early version has additional vertical control surfaces above the engines, and horizontal equilateral winglets outside the weapon booms, adjacent to the front edge of the cockpit section.
The fighter is armed with eight laser cannons mounted near the front of the fighter and near where the booms extend from the rest of the body of the fighter. While the laser cannons are not that powerful individually, all eight firing together can inflict surprising damage. When the fighter is being used against starships, it can carry two anti-ship missiles mounted on the underbelly.
Thunderfighters were originally fitted with a combat program designed to fight better than the pilots themselves. This program was found to be predictable and a large number of pilots were lost as a result. The program is no longer used, and loss rates have decreased significantly.
This fighter does have some disadvantages when compared to starfighters from other universes. The ship uses ion engines which have a lower duration than the gravity based engines used in most Starships within the Three Galaxies. The Thunderfighter also does not use missiles regularly and would likely suffer against any opponent who regularly uses missiles.