From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
This article is about the vehicle initially cut from Halo: Combat Evolved. For the vehicle introduced in Halo: Spartan Strike, see AV-30 Kestrel.
The JOV-99 Kestrel is a ground attack aircraft designed and manufactured by Vestol Corporation. Before the dissolution of the Colonial Military Authority, the craft was a common sight among their forces on various human colonies. The Kestrel continues to see service among some UNSC Army garrisons, local defense forces, and colonial militias.
The JOV-99 Kestrel flies via two rotors flanking the main fuselage. At the front of the aircraft are two autocannons and two missile pods, with an open canopy cockpit in between. At the rear of the Kestrel is a stubby tail, and there are two struts adjacent each rotor that act as static landing gear.
Developed for use on frontier worlds by Vestol Corporation, the JOV-99 was intentionally made to be easily-transportable, low-cost, reliable, and easy to maintain. Very few of the craft's components need to be sourced from the Inner Colonies, resulting in most Kestrel production being handled by colonial industries and contractors. Several elements of the JOV-99 Kestrel were borrowed by Misriah Armory in their development of the AV-30 Light Assault VTOL, also titled the Kestrel.
Initially seeing service by the Colonial Military Authority on numerous colonies, the JOV-99 Kestrel was considered for widespread adoption within the United Nations Space Command sometime after the effective dissolution of the CMA. However, Misriah Armory's Wasp was ultimately selected to replace the Kestrels supplied to UNSC Army and colonial militia forces. While the Wasp is a capable aircraft, many army garrisons, local defense forces, and militias continue to use the JOV-99 Kestrel as it does not require constant off-world maintenance inputs. Because of this, Vestol Corporation continues to profit off of the Kestrel by supplying upgrade packages and selling licenses for local manufacture of the aircraft.
The Kestrel was originally modelled for inclusion in Halo: Combat Evolved. Little is known of the vehicle's intended role within the game, but it was cut partly because Halo: Combat Evolved lacked vehicle physics that can effectively simulate VTOL aircraft. In 2022, it was announced that, as part of the Digsite Alpha initiative for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the vehicle will be added back into Halo: Combat Evolved as a canon vehicle.