That is all solid advice and all that, but I'm no rookie when it comes to WC&FS.
First off all, the Darket doesn't come with dumbfire missiles, only 'Stalker' heatseekers. There wasn't a missile explosion to begin with anyway.
Second, I went from full shields and hull to dead after like a mere 5-7 meson cannon shots. To score a kill on a thunderbolt in that fashion would require every shot to pass through the shields directly onto the hull. (14x35 damage = 490. A thunderbolt has 440 armor) I'm going to assume its something along those lines that happened. Or something in any case, it happens so fast it doesn't give much time to respond.
What mostly pisses me off about this is that it happened right after a section that has you twiddling your thumbs while you listen to people talking for a full couple of minutes. With time compression disabled and no build in way to skip these sections if you already been through them once. (This certainly isnt the only mission that is quilty of this. Checkpoints would have been... nice to have) Ah well, guess I'll just edit the mission manually to reenable time compression so I can skip past it... Yeah, there done. ezey 'nuff
Also, you guys are *wrong*! head to head with a Thunderbolt against a Darket is the best way to score an easy kill. Its only a bad idea if you are the one flying the Darket