Known more readily as just 'Hawk,' the Sparrowhawk is a formidable air to ground armor busting support aerodyne. The Hawk is still being assessed by command before full production starts while engineers are still working on an experimental propulsion system that has led to failures in the field making the future of this vehicle uncertain. The Hawk first saw actual combat against the Covenant on the surface of Harvest in the final months of that campaign.
First introduced in 2531, the Hawk is a formidable air-to-ground anti-tank aerodyne. It is used by the UNSC in a ground support and anti-armor role to hunt tanks and support ground advances. Developed during the early years of the Human-Covenant war, it first saw action on the planet Harvest during the end months of the Harvest Campaign. Although the Sparrowhawk was in wide production during the first decade of the war, the general cost of repairing and replacing it, as well as problems with its ducted fan propulsion system, limited the craft's deployment after 2550.
Despite the Hawk's official designation as an Attack VTOL, the sheer weight of firepower it can wield caused some branches of the UNSC to classify it as a gunship.
The Hawk has design elements from a mixture of modern VTOL aircraft, most prominently the Harrier Jump-Jet, and attack helicopter gunships such as the AH-64 Apache and the AH-1 Cobra. It also bears a marked resemblance to the Hornet gunship in Halo 3, being an upgrade of it and bears similarities to the deleted Kestrel from other versions. It consists of an elongated fuselage with stubby wings on each side of it.
The cockpit is forward mounted, and the tail section juts out from behind the fuselage at a downward angle. Each wing incorporates a Ducted Air Fan for lift and thrust, and carries three missiles/rockets on pylons and a twin auto-cannon on each, with a Laser weapon mounted underneath the cockpit.
- “Hawk, ready to fly!”— Anonymous Hawk Pilot
The Hawk is a fast and maneuverable aircraft, much more so than the AV-14 Attack VTOL of which it is an upgrade and replacement. Rather than thrust-vectoring jet thrusters, like most UNSC aircraft, the Hawk makes use of ducted fans in the wings to provide lift and thrust, and is equipped with wing-mounted GUA-23/AW/Linkless Feed Autocannons as well as a nose-mounted Weapon/Anti-Vehicle Model 6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle, allowing it to engage enemy infantry, vehicles and aircraft, making for an aircraft of extreme tactical versatility. The Hawk is the unique upgrade for the Hornet while playing as Professor Ellen Anders.
- The original announcement of the Hawk as well as the unveiling of the first concept art for the design was accomplished through a "decrypting" image set. Community Manager Graham Somers posted the first full-static image at the end of an update. Over time the image cleared itself up. The following update contained larger versions of the Hawk and a short description.
- The Hawk is an aircraft unit that appears when Anders is the Leader in Multiplayer, Skirmish mode, and the 12th mission of the Campaign.
- The aircraft has changed greatly from its original concept, with it being changed from a gunship with missiles and a range of cannons, akin to modern gunships, to a more aerodynamic craft with a nose mounted laser, and 2 autocannons.
- Robot Entertainment released an update for Halo Wars that made the Hawk upgrade cost 1,350 resources instead of 900 in order to prevent easy mass production.
- Mega Brands released a version of the Hawk with two front mounted gatling guns instead of a laser.
- Halo Wars (First appearance)
- Halo: Escalation
- Halo: Spartan Assault
- Halo: Spartan Strike
- Halo: Hunters in the Dark