|USS Thunderchild • Unnamed|
The name of the Thunderchild and its designation as an Akira-class vessel were taken from production sources such as the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 396). One image of the Thunderchild sketched in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 509) mislabeled the ship's registry as "NCC-83549". This image was replaced by a new image for the latest edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia.
Alex Jaeger, who designed the ship's exterior, explained, "The name Thunderchild was given to me by production and is named after the warship in H.G. Wells '[The] War of the Worlds'." This is the source given for the name in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 396), as well. In that novel, HMS Thunder Child (two words, not one) diverted Martian fire away from transport ships evacuating civilians out of London. Tragically, HMS Thunder Child was destroyed, with all hands lost, but was able to destroy two of the Martian Tripods.
The Thunderchild was mentioned in the Pocket DS9 Millennium novel The Fall of Terok Nor, when it docked at Deep Space 9. In the Pocket TNG novel Rogue, part of the Section 31 series, the Thunderchild contacted the USS Enterprise-E.
The role playing game supplements Starships (from Decipher) and The Price of Freedom (from Last Unicorn Games) both described the Thunderchild among the lists of Akira-class starships. The Thunderchild also appears in the Star Trek Adventures role playing game (from Modiphius Entertainment) as an NPC starship assigned to the Shackleton Expanse (β).
The Thunderchild made an appearance in the Peter David novel, Before Dishonor. It was the first vessel to make contact with a sentient Borg cube en route to assimilate Earth. The vessel became the victim of "absorption", the cube's method of assimilation, and was later destroyed by the planet killer. According to the novel, the captain of the ship at the time, as well as during the Battle of Sector 001, was named Matsuda.