|Manufacturer||Lang Industries Incorporated,|
Majesty Metals and Manufacturing,
Vandenberg Mechanized Industries
|Engine||Core Tek 275|
|Communications System||O/P 300 COMSET|
|Targeting Tracking System||O/P 2000A|
|Jump Jets||Pitban LFT-50|
A multi-role BattleMech developed during the Golden Age, the Shadow Hawk is a powerful fusion of maneuverability and firepower. With a mix of long-range and short-range weapons, good maneuverability thanks to jump jets, and excellent endurance, the Shadow Hawk has long been regarded as as one of the best 'Mechs in its weight class. The Shadow Hawk is equally adept whether commanding a reconnaissance company or serving as a spotter for heavy and assault lances.
Lang Industries had technically introduced the Shadow Hawk many years prior to 2550, but this version of the 'Mech suffered from a debilitating fault in its armor plating. The line was recalled and a major overhaul was accomplished in 2550 without any difficulties which solved the issue for most (but not all) Shadow Hawk models. This resumption of production therefore is regarded by many historians as the true debut of the design. For the next few centuries Lang continued to produce the Shadow Hawk for the Star League and the Great Houses until their factory was destroyed with the start of the Succession Wars. Afterwards Earthwerks Incorporated remained the only manufacturer within the Inner Sphere to continue producing Shadow Hawks from their factory on Calloway VI, while in the Periphery Majesty Metals and Manufacturing on Dunianshire built these 'Mechs for the Magistracy of Canopus and other prospective buyers. As many of the secrets of lostech were rediscovered, Earthwerks was able to create an updated variant of the Shadow Hawk, the SHD-5M, in time for the Clan Invasion.
Starting in the summer of 3066 Vicore Industries began promoting their "Project Phoenix" to various weapons manufacturers across the Inner Sphere, promising improved versions of venerable designs like the Shadow Hawk. Earthwerks, Kallon Industries and ComStar all expressed interest in redesigning the Shadow Hawk, however the latter two lacked appropriate facilities to build the 'Mech and so (at the suggestion of the Vicore group) contracted Odin Manufacturing on Orestes to build the components while Kallon finished the process at its factories on Nanking and Talon. The Capellan Confederation later acquired the rights to build Earthwerks' SHD-7M Shadow Hawk variant shortly before the Jihad, which they then sub-licensed to Vandenberg Mechanized Industries to produce.
Weapons and Equipment
The Shadow Hawk as mentioned above carries a varied, but effective, mix of weapons. Primary among them is the Armstrong J11 Autocannon/5 mounted in the left torso along with one ton of ammo. This weapon as well as the Holly LRM-5 launcher with one ton of reloads in the right torso provide the Shadow Hawk with good long-range striking capabilities. When the Shadow Hawk closes to shorter ranges it can bring to bear its Holly SRM-2 launcher mounted in the head and its right-arm Martell Medium Laser which can generally finish off most 'Mechs of its own weight class or smaller that might have survived the mixed autocannon and LRM fire. One ton of ammunition for the SRM-2 is kept in the Shadow Hawk's center torso while twelve heat sinks provide decent cooling. For hand-to-hand combat the Shadow Hawk features a pair of Lang manipulative hands, regarded as among the strongest models ever built prior to the fall of the Star League. The ability to grasp and carry objects greatly assists in its ability to take part in raiding missions.
While nine and a half tons of armor provide excellent protection, early models of the Shadow Hawk suffered from defective armor pressure plates, especially in the legs. When struck these plates were liable to sever the myomer bundles which governed movement, rendering the 'Mech immobile. Although the mass recall of 2550 largely solved this issue, a small number of Shadow Hawks were not fixed and continued to see service in battle; on occasion this defect led to the loss of entire battles.
Three jump jets split between the center, left, and right rear torsos gives the Shadow Hawk an adequate jumping distance of 90 meters. While limited in the distance traveled, it gives the 'Mech an edge when engaged in close combat and supplements its cruising speed of 54 km/h. Perhaps the most valued component on the Shadow Hawk, as far as its pilots are concerned, is the Sparrow 300J life support system. Among the most advanced ever devised, the Sparrow can keep a pilot comfortable up to 30% longer than similar systems in other 'Mechs. This is especially important on extended missions where a more relaxed pilot is a better pilot.
- First introduced in 2467, this first generation of the Shadow Hawk employs early BattleMech technology in its weaponry, equipment and its armor. This design was first produced by Lang Industries on Caph, where it was designed as part of the Hegemony's efforts to keep ahead of the Inner Sphere's newly stolen BattleMech technology. The SHD-1R was equipped with a single shoulder mounted Class 5 autocannon and a single medium laser. The 'Mech's primitive fusion engine allowed the 'Mech to reach a maximum of 60+ km/h and power its three jump jets. The 'Mech was protected by fourteen tons of Primitive Armor and had ten heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 841
- The SLDF Royal upgrade of the Shadow Hawk changes the role of the 'Mech to a close-range brawler. Introduced in 2752 the weapon systems are replaced with an LB 10-X AC, two Streak SRM-2s and two medium lasers. The heat sinks are double-strength models and the ammo is protected by CASE. To save weight it uses an Endo-Steel chassis and Ferro-Fibrous armor. BV (2.0) = 1354
- Originally a First Succession War field refit developed by the Draconis Combine in 2803 as the enraged Federated Suns pushed the Kurita troops back, the 2K Shadow Hawk dramatically overhauls the chassis by replacing all original armaments, save the LRM-5, with a Donal PPC in place of the autocannon and five extra heat sinks. Though initially introduced to compensate for a lack of autocannon parts and ammunition, the improvement in long range firepower ensured refits continued with the 2K became one of the deadliest units of the Succession Wars despite many Lyran opponents' opinion of it as a "Griffin knockoff." BV (1.0) = 1,018, BV (2.0) = 1,147
- Another First Succession War variant born of the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns' desperation prior to the Kentares Massacre, the field refit 2D dramatically increases the close range capabilities of the Shadow Hawk at great cost to its armor. Introduced in 2796 the 2D reduces the armor protection by five tons and adds a second SRM-2 launcher to the center torso, doubles the number of SRM missiles split between left and right torsos, and an additional medium laser in the left arm. While carrying superior firepower, the loss in armor leaves the 'Mech far too vulnerable for open combat, and those units which use it typically hold the 'Mech in ambush to unleash a devastating first volley before retreating. BV (1.0) = 765, BV (2.0) = 899
- SHD-2H (C)
- A Clan-tech retrofit of the classic Shadow Hawk and intended for second-line and solahma troops, the Shadow Hawk C replaces all Inner Sphere-tech weaponry with Clan equivalents but leaves the structural components of the SHD-2H unaltered. The Shadow Hawk C mounts an LB 5-X AC, an LRM-5 equipped with Swarm LRM munitions, a Streak SRM-2, and an ER Medium Laser.  BV (2.0) = 1,260
- The 2D2 is an upgrade of the -2D Shadow Hawk introduced in 3049, born of the Federated Commonwealth buying original-model 2Hs from Majesty Metals and refitting them for use by militia forces or for sale to mercenaries. Like the 2D this upgrade adds another SRM launcher to the center torso and a medium laser to the left arm, however both center torso and head launchers are Federated SuperStreak Streak SRM-2s. Besides carrying slightly more armor, a total of six and a half tons, and one ton of Streak ammo in the right torso, it is otherwise identical to the 2D Shadow Hawk. BV (1.0) = 896, BV (2.0) = 1,049
- The 5D Shadow Hawk is a Davion upgrade to the original, part of Kallon Industries' participation in the "Project Phoenix" initiative started by Vicore Industries. Imaged as a cavalry unit the 5D removes the LRM launcher and utilizes a Mydron Tornado Rotary Autocannon/5 in place of the original while also carrying two Intek Hellborer Medium Lasers, one in either arm, and a Harpoon-4S Streak SRM-4 mounted in the head. Two tons of autocannon ammo and one ton of Streak reloads are carried in the left torso protected by CASE while the nine and a half tons of armor are updated to Kallon Unity Weave Ferro-Fibrous. The model is fitted with a Full-Head Ejection System and its jumping distance is also increased to 150 meters with five Rawlings 55 jump jets split between the rear torso areas. Both communications and targeting systems have been updated to Neil 6000 and Garret D2j respectively. The use of a Kallon Type VII Endo Steel chassis makes these update possible. BV (1.0) = 1,629, BV (2.0) = 1,684
- The 5M Shadow Hawk is the first complete overhaul and upgrade of the design, unveiled in 3048 by Earthwerks for the Free Worlds League. The chassis has been upgraded to an Earthwerks SHD II Endo Steel frame, an additional ton of armor was added, two additional jump jets were fitted for a total jumping distance of 150 meters, the engine replaced with an extralight version of the Hermes 275, and the weapons load has undergone an almost complete renovation. The original autocannon has been updated to an Imperator Ultra Autocannon/5, the LRM launcher to a Doombud LRM-20, and the head-mounted SRM launcher to a Hovertec Streak SRM-2. The amount of ammunition carried and the left-arm medium laser are maintained, and while the number of heat sinks was reduced to ten these were upgrade to double-strength models. BV (1.0) = 1,349, BV (2.0) = 1,430
- The 7CS is an electronics heavy, high tech upgrade of the Shadow Hawk built for ComStar in 3066. The 'Mech carries an Ultra Autocannon/5, an LRM-15 launcher mated to an Artemis IV fire control system, and two ER medium lasers. This is all linked to an improved C3 computer. The 'Mech has ten and a half tons of armor, is built with an Endo Steel chassis and uses an extralight engine. As with other Project Phoenix 'Mechs, shortly after its introduction reports started coming in of Word of Blake units operating in the Chaos March equipped with 7CS Shadow Hawks. BV (1.0) = 1,370, BV (2.0) = 1,496
- The 7M Shadow Hawk is Earthwerks' version of the Project Phoenix Shadow Hawk introduced in 3066, using some of the newest technologies available in the Free Worlds League. Similar to the 7CS, the 'Mech is built using an Endo Steel chassis with ten and a half tons of standard armor and CASE for ammunition protection. While carrying many of the same armament it uses a Light Gauss Rifle in place of the Ultra AC/5 for long-range sniping. This variant was later acquired by the Capellan Confederation, not only to supply their own forces but for their Trinity Alliance. BV (1.0) = 1,351, BV (2.0) = 1,447
- The Shadow Hawk 9D was released in 3070 and carries as its primary weapons a new Light Autocannon/5 and a pair of MML-5 launchers. The MML launchers can fire both LRM and SRM ammunition, giving the 'Mech a great deal of tactical flexibility. For close range defense, the 'Mech has a highly accurate Medium Pulse Laser which is also linked to a Targeting Computer with the Autocannon for increased accuracy. The 9D also has a C3 Slave, allowing it to share targeting data with friendly units which are linked to the 'Mech in a C3 Network. The pilot is protected by Light Ferro-Fibrous armor and a Full-Head Ejection System. BV (2.0) = 1,313
- This variant introduced in 3068 uses a Light Engine, Endo Steel, and Light Ferro-Fibrous armor to mount a Snub-Nose PPC, an LRM-15 guided by an Artemis IV FCS, and a pair of ER medium lasers. The accuracy of these weapons is aided by the inclusion of an improved C3 Computer. Like the other "Phoenix" variants, it is equipped with a Full-Head Ejection System. BV (2.0) = 1,700
- Built for the Rasalhagian forces of the Ghost Bear Dominion in 3079, this variant uses a Heavy PPC as its main weapon, supported by an ER medium laser and an MML-7. Light Ferro-Fibrous armor protects the pilot, but in the event of a catastrophic failure the pilot can use a Full-Head Ejection System to escape. It has a limited jump capability of 120 meters. To make room for all this equipment, the Bears used an Inner Sphere-grade XL Engine and Endo Steel chassis. BV (2.0) = 1,574
These variants were introduced in various apocryphal sources, and thus far have not appeared in any canonical media.
- The 5S is a variant of the 5M used by the Special Forces. It replaces all standard weapons with one Large Laser, one medium pulse laser and four medium lasers. In addition, it carries a Beagle Active Probe in the right torso, while an Guardian ECM Suite is installed in the left torso. Its left arm is also equipped with a TAG, while its head contains cargo space. It is armored by eleven and a half tons of standard armor. BV (1.0) = , BV (2.0) = 
From MechWarrior Online:
- SHD-GD The Grey Death
- Themed as a variant piloted by Grayson Death Carlyle, despite the fact that neither Grayson or second Shadow Hawk pilot Sharyl piloted such a variant, the Grey Death swaps the AC/5 for an AC/10 with 2 tons of ammunition and carries two medium lasers in each arm. The LRM-5 and SRM-2 are kept, along with the 3 jump jets. Cooling is handled by 12 double heat sinks. The tonnage required for the heavier weapons loadout is freed up by using an XL 275-rated engine. The 'Mech has a grey, black and red pattern with white insignia of the Grey Death Legion and is presumably the second Shadow Hawk the unit operated, piloted by Sharyl. 
- Shadow Hawk IIC - The SLDF took several Shadow Hawks with them on their Exodus. The Clans eventually upgraded several of the old SHD-2H 'Mechs with Clan technology, creating the Shadow Hawk C and, later, completely redesigned the original model to make the Shadow Hawk IIC. BV (1.0) = 1,646, BV (2.0) = 1,732
Famous individuals in the BattleTech universe who are associated with the Shadow Hawk include:
- Dechan Fraser, recruited in the Inner Sphere by Wolf's Dragoons, was a Sergeant in the Dragoons in 3023 but quickly rose through the ranks. By 3026 he was a Lieutenant in command of a lance, and on 8 October 3026 he was promoted to Captain. Piloting his dark blue Shadow Hawk with a golden falcon painted on the chest, Dechan Fraser helped Minobu Tetsuhara save Jaime Wolf's life on Quentin IV in 3023, successfully commanded a light company on Barlow's End in 3026, killed the CO of the attacking Ryuken on An Ting on 11 January 3028 and killed Jerry Akuma two days later. In a battle on Misery on 23 April 3028, his lance captured Fadre Singh and on 20 May engaged Minobu Tetsuhara's provisional command lance, capturing both Tetsuhara and Michi Noketsuna. After Misery, Dechan Fraser left the Dragoons to follow Noketsuna in his quest for vengeance against Warlord Grieg Samsonov. By the time of the War of 3039 he fought in the DCMS, piloting a HTM-27W Hatamoto-ku.
- Grayson Death Carlyle re-acquired a former Carlyle's Commandos Shadow Hawk after their rout on Trellwan. He used it as his personal 'Mech during the following campaign to free Trellwan from Duke Ricol and the Draconis Combine and during the infancy of the Gray Death Legion. Carlyle's Shadow Hawk was disabled and later passed to Lori Kalmar after the liberation of Verthandi in 3024 when Grayson switched to a Marauder. The Gray Death Legion fielded two Shadow Hawk BattleMechs in their next campaign on Helm in 3027.
The Shadow Hawk is one of the most iconic BattleMechs in BattleTech. It is based on the title Combat Armor of the anime Fang of the Sun Dougram. Due to legal difficulties, the Shadow Hawk was among the Unseen BattleMechs of BattleTech. Legal disputes over ownership of this image were resolved in Summer, 2009.
- MUL online date for the Shadow Hawk
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 289
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 461
- Technical Readout: 3025, pp. 66-67
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 289
- Technical Readout: 3050, p. 136-137
- Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, 18
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 118
- Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 1, pp. 5, 19 SHD-1R Shadow Hawk - Profile on primitive Shadow Hawk and specs.
- Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 40
- First Succession War, p. 160 "Rules Annex - Technical Readout - SHD-2D/2K Shadow Hawk"
- Total Warfare Style Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 99
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 462
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 460
- The Battle for Twycross, p. 48
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 85
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 75
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 242
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 76
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 77
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 78
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 79
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 80
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 242
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 81
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 82
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 83
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 243
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 25
- BattleTechnology #21
- Wolves on the Border
- BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter
- Decision at Thunder Rift
- Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 1
- First Succession War (Source Book)
- Master Unit List
- Mercenary's Star
- The Price of Glory
- Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged
- Record Sheets: 3050
- Record Sheets: 3067
- Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix
- Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades
- Technical Readout: 3025
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3050
- Technical Readout: 3055
- Technical Readout: Project Phoenix
- Technical Readout: 3085
- The Battle for Twycross
- Total Warfare Style Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades