Guardians of the Stars
Dropships, sometimes called Transatmospheric Combat Vehicles (or TCAVs) are effectively military shuttles which carry a weapons load similar to Fighters or Corvettes. This reduces either their performance or their cargo capacity, however it means they are less concerned about entering a active combat zone than a normal civilian shuttle. Most will in fact lay down covering fire, if needed, for their cargoes when dropping them off. Then they can either continue to provide close air support or withdraw until needed later.
Sometimes, though rarely, boarding pods or ‘boarding ships’ are also dropships. The reason for this is that the purpose is very similar since they have a cargo of troops to drop off in a combat zone. However, boarding vessels and even boarding actions are very rare due to their high risk nature.
Early Space Era