AV-22 Sparrowhawk

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AV-22 Sparrowhawk
HWunit Sparrowhawk.png
Production information



Technical specifications


16.5 meters (54 ft)[1]


9.6 meters (31 ft)[1]

Maximum speed:

611 kilometers per hour (380 mph)[2]


Dual-ducted air fans[3]



One pilot, one gunner[1]


In service:


  • Close air support[4]
  • Air escort of ground forces[4]


United Nations Space Command


The AV-22 Sparrowhawk, formally known as the AV-22 Attack VTOL[1], but often simply nicknamed the Hawk, is a VTOL attack aircraft in service with the United Nations Space Command.


Design details[edit]

The AV-22 Sparrowhawk is a formidable air-to-ground anti-tank aerodyne that is used to hunt tanks and support ground advances.[5]

The Sparrowhawk features a two-seat cockpit with tandem seating for a pilot and gunner, and cyberlink-compatible fly-by-light avionics.[3] Rather than using thrust-vectoring jets like some aircraft of the United Nations Space Command, the AV-22 features an integrated VTOL propulsion system that combines a turbojet with dual-ducted lift fans,[3] which gives it a maximum airspeed of 611 kilometers per hour (380 miles per hour)[2] and impressive maneuverability.

The Sparrowhawk shares a number of design similarities with its fellow aerodyne brethren such as the AV-14 Hornet, AV-19 SkyHawk, AV-30 Kestrel, and AV-49 Wasp,[3] however while classified as an "Attack VTOL", some branches of the United Nations Space Command armed forces classify the aircraft as a gunship due to its heavy armament.


The VTOL's primary weapon is a pair of brutally effective, twin-linked GAU-23/AW/Linkless Feed Autocannons installed on weapon armatures on either side of the fuselage. These autocannons can fire the full range of 20mm aircraft ammunition, though the standard loadout on the Sparrowhawk is either M718 SAPHEI, or PGU-42/B API with a depleted uranium core, and are capable of neutralizing infantry and light vehicles with ease.[1][3][6] The secondary weapon of the Sparrowhawk is a nose-mounted M6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Cannon, an upgraded version of the M6 Spartan Laser.[1][7] The cannon allows gunners to conduct devastatingly effective long-range strikes on heavy vehicles such as tanks with pinpoint accuracy. Components of the Sparrowhawk's cannon were later miniaturized and incorporated into the infantry-portable M6/E Spartan Laser variant.[3]

Like most of the UNSC's vehicle fleet, the aircraft has some degree of modularity. Its wings can be fitted with mounting brackets for missile racks, and the weapon armatures on the fuselage and nose can be fitted with a number of other twin-linked heavy machine guns.

These armaments, combined with the VTOL's impressive speed and maneuverability, allows the Sparrowhawk to engage Covenant Type-26 Banshees on more than equal terms and to pursue fleeing dropships or engage them as they approach; even a pair of Sparrowhawks can destroy a Bkowe'nei-pattern Vampire—the bane of the AV-14—with minimal attrition.[8]


  • ODST Hawk: The ODST Hawk is an upgraded variant of the AV-22B designed exclusively for the 105th Special Forces to assist in covert offensives against Covenant armor and infantry units. It is designed with stealth gray armor creating a low RADAR detection signature, that makes it nearly impossible to detect.[9] It is normally flown by ODST Pilots, designated by their brown colored breastplate and helmet stripe.

Operational history[edit]

The Sparrowhawk was employed as early as 2526[10], and later saw action on Harvest during the final months of the Harvest campaign in early 2531.[1] Weeks later, several Sparrowhawks attached to UNSC Spirit of Fire defended their parent vessel from a Covenant Sinaris-pattern heavy destroyer during the Battle of Trove, proving the VTOL's effectiveness as both a ground-support platform and as an impromptu atmospheric fighter.[8] The Sparrowhawk met with great success in the war against the Covenant, serving as a gunship escort for troop transports, providing aerial security, and operating in hunter-killer squadrons that harassed Covenant landing zones and troop columns. Combat losses were always high, though pilots accumulated enviable kill ratios.[3]

Although the Sparrowhawk was widely produced during the first decade of the war, problems with its ducted fan propulsion system[11] and the high costs of repair and replacement resulted in limited production after 2550.[1] Nonetheless, the Sparrowhawk continued active service and saw combat during the Battle for Earth in 2552, the Battle of Draetheus V in 2554, the Invasion of Earth in 2555, and the Battle of Installation 03 in 2557.[12][13] On March 11, 2558 several AV-22 Sparrowhawks belonging to the Spirit of Fire, alongside multiple AC-220 Vultures, attacked the UNSC Infinity when the Pilgrims' Pride was pulled into the Infinity's docking bay.[14] Several Sparrowhawks were used by the Surakan Militia against Hekabe's forces in the Carrow Conflict later that year.[15]

Prior to the Sparrowhawk's introduction, the AV-14 Hornet filled a similar anti-tank and ground support role, and as such is considered the Hawk's predecessor.[1]


In Halo Wars' skirmish and multiplayer modes, the Hawk is the unique unit of Professor Ellen Anders. It is available as the final upgrade for the AV-14 Hornet at a cost of 900 supplies and a tech level of 3. It can be built at the airpad for a cost of 250 resources and 2 population with a tech level of 2. The game's first title update increased the Hawk's upgrade price to 1350 supplies in order to prevent spamming of the unit.



List of appearances[edit]