Sarna News: Bad 'Mechs - Hoplite

Shadow Hawk

Shadow Hawk
Shadow Hawk
Production information
Manufacturer Lang Industries Incorporated

Earthwerks Incorporated

Majesty Metals and Manufacturing

Odin Manufacturing

Vandenberg Mechanized Industries

Production Year 2550[1]
Model SHD-2H
Class Medium
Cost 4,539,382 C-bills
Technical specifications
Mech type Inner Sphere BattleMech
Mass 55 tons
Chassis Lang T1
Armor Maximillian 43
Engine Core Tek 275
Communications System O/P 300 COMSET
Targeting Tracking System O/P 2000A
Heat Sinks 12
Speed 86.4 km/h
Jump Jets Pitban LFT-50
BV (1.0) 918
BV (2.0) 1,064[2][3]


A multi-role BattleMech developed in 2550 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 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.[4][5]

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.[4][5] 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.[4] 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.[5][6] 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.[6]

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.[7] The Capellan Confederation later acquired the rights to build Earthwerks' SHD-7M Shadow Hawk variant shortly before the Jihad, which they then sublicensed to Vandenberg Mechanized Industries to produce.[7][8]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The Shadow Hawk as mentioned above carries a varied, but effective, mix of weapons. Primary among them is the 80mm Armstrong J11 Autocannon 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.[4][5]

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.[4][5]

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.[4][5]


  • SHD-1R 
    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 by Rodger Taylor 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[9]
  • SHD-2K 
    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 becoming one of the deadliest units of the Succession Wars[13] despite many Lyran opponents' opinion of it as a "Griffin knockoff."[5][14] BV (1.0) = 1,018, BV (2.0) = 1,147[14][15]
  • SHD-2D 
    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.[13][5] BV (1.0) = 765, BV (2.0) = 899[16]
  • SHD-2D2 
    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.[6] BV (1.0) = 896, BV (2.0) = 1,049[17][18]
  • SHD-2Ht 
    A refit of the SHD-2H developed by ComStar for the Battle of Tukayyid, the SHD-2Ht was primarily intended as an Elemental hunter. While almost being visually identical to the venerable 2H, the 2Ht retains only the arm-mounted Martel Model 5 Medium Laser, trading the shoulder mounted autocannon for a Krupp Model 32 Large Laser and both missile racks for five Blankenburg SLS Streak SRM-2 launchers in the right torso fed by a single ton of CASE protected ammo. The weapon swap was made possible by a reduced number of now double heat sinks. Most SHD-2Ht's were gathered together in anti-infantry teams alongside JR7-F Jenners attached to each Army, the 'Mech proving highly successful against Clans forces who misidentified it as the normal SHD-2H and closed to short-range, eventually leading them to mistakenly assume all Com Guard Shadow Hawks on Tukayyid were the SHD-2Ht.[19] BV (2.0) = 1,453[20]
  • SHD-3K 
    Based on the 2K, this 3075 variant carries a Heavy PPC, MML-5, and ER medium laser. CASE protects the missile ammunition, while Heavy Ferro-Fibrous armor covers the 'Mech. A C3 Slave unit is installed to provide targeting data to friendly units.[21] BV (2.0) = 1,591[22]
  • SHD-4H 
    Nimikatchi and Majesty Metals worked together to create this Dark Age variant.[23] Twelve double heat sinks dissipate the heat generated by the Heavy PPC and Light PPC carried by the 'Mech. BV (2.0) = 1,569[24]
  • SHD-5D 
    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. Imagined 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.[7] BV (1.0) = 1,629, BV (2.0) = 1,684[25]
  • SHD-5M 
    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 upgraded to double-strength models.[6] BV (1.0) = 1,349, BV (2.0) = 1,430[26][27]
  • SHD-5R 
    This variant is fitted with a smaller XL engine, reducing the top speed to 64 km/h. Three jump jets provide a ninety meter jump capability. The right arm has an ER Medium Laser, the head carries a Streak SRM-2, and a Light AC/5 is mounted in the right torso. The main firepower however comes from five Thunderbolt 5 missile launchers. The autocannon and Streak launcher each have a ton of ammunition, and the Thunderbolt launchers have four tons of ammunition. This version also has ten double heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,296[28]
  • SHD-5S
    This heavy scout variant carries a Large Laser in the right arm. Each side torso carries a pair of two Medium Lasers, and the left arm has a Medium Pulse Laser. Mounted coaxially with the medium pulse laser is a TAG system. The left and right torso carry a Guardian ECM Suite and a Beagle Active Probe. A half ton of cargo space is provided in the head, probably for supplies on long reconnaissance missions. The most interesting change, however, is the use of a higher rated XL engine that allows a top speed of 96 km/h. To get out of tight spots, the 'Mech can jump one hundred fifty meters. BV (2.0) = 1,590[29]
  • SHD-7CS 
    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.[7] BV (1.0) = 1,370, BV (2.0) = 1,496[31]
  • SHD-7H 
    This variant is based on the SHD-5M and keeps the ground speed and jump capability of that model. The weaponry includes an ER Medium Laser on the right arm, an LB 10-X is mounted on the left torso. An Enhanced LRM-5 is in the right torso. The head-mounted SRM-2 remains in place. All the ammunition (one ton for the SRM and Enhanced LRM, and two tons for the LB 10-X) are carried in the right torso in a CASE II protected bay. To free weight for this equipment the 'Mech uses an Endo Steel skeleton and a Light Engine. BV (2.0) = 1,394[32]
  • SHD-7M 
    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. Based on the -5M, 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 weapons, it downsizes the LRM rack to an LRM-15 with Artemis IV and 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.[7] BV (1.0) = 1,351, BV (2.0) = 1,447[33]
  • SHD-9D 
    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[36]
  • SHD-11CS 
    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[37]
  • SHD-12C 
    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, but makes use of a larger 330-class engine to reach speeds over 90 km/h. 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[38]
  • Shadow Hawk
    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. The C mounts an LB 5-X AC, an LRM-5 equipped with Swarm LRM munitions, a Streak SRM-2, and an ER Medium Laser. Two additional jump jets were added, extending the jump radius to one hundred fifty meters. Techs also added one more heat sinks. BV (2.0) = 1,348[39]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • SHD-2H Shadow Hawk Sandy 
    Used by Alexander "Sandy" Romanov, a known associate of the Bounty Hunter, this Shadow Hawk is equipped with double heat sinks, a jump range of 150 meters, and a TAG unit. The weapons have been removed and replaced with a single Heavy PPC and Light PPC. BV (2.0) = 1,517[40]

Apocryphal Variants[edit]

Apocryphal Content Starts

The information after this notice comes from apocryphal sources; the canonicity of such information is uncertain.
Please view the reference page for information regarding their canonicity.

These variants were introduced in various apocryphal sources, and thus far have not appeared in any canonical media.

From BattleTechnology:

  • SHD-5S 
    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) =[41]

From MechWarrior Online:

  • SHD-GD The Gray 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 Gray 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 Gray Death Legion and is presumably the second Shadow Hawk the unit operated, piloted by Sharyl.[1]

From MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

  • SHD-1P 
    Introduced in 3024 in the Call to Arms DLC, this variant of the Shadow Hawk drops the SHD-2H's SRM rack to free up the weight for a Medium Claw fitted in the SHD-1P's left arm.[42]
  • SHD-2P 
    Introduced in 2846 in the Hero of the Inner Sphere DLC, this variant of the Shadow Hawk replaces its Autocannon with a Medium Rifle, supplied by two tons of ammunition. Further changes include an additional ton of ammunition for the LRM-5 launcher, the removal of two heat sinks and the installation of a Supercharger.[42]

Apocryphal Content Ends

Design Quirks[edit]

The Shadow Hawk has the following Design Quirks:[43][44]

Related BattleMechs[edit]

  • 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

Notable Pilots[edit]

Famous individuals in the BattleTech universe who are associated with the Shadow Hawk include:


  • 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.
  • The Shadow Hawk C was retconned in RG:ilClan v12 from the previous version in The Battle for Twycross, p. 48 and Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 85; increasing the number of jump jets and heat sinks while, consequently, the BV 2.0 (previously 1,260).
  • In German products the unit's proper name was translated to Dunkelfalke. The model code was changed accordingly to DKF-2L.
  • In French products the unit's proper name was perfectly translated as Faucon Ombre.



  1. MUL online date for the Shadow Hawk
  2. Technical Readout: 3039, p. 289
  3. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 461
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Technical Readout: 3025, pp. 66-67
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 289
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Technical Readout: 3050, p. 136-137
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, 18
  8. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 118
  9. Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 1, pp. 5, 19 SHD-1R Shadow Hawk - Profile on primitive Shadow Hawk and specs.
  10. Record Sheets: Operation Klondike, p. 40
  11. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 25
  12. Historical: Operation Klondike, p.159
  13. 13.0 13.1 First Succession War, p. 160 "Rules Annex - Technical Readout - SHD-2D/2K Shadow Hawk"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Total Warfare Style Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 99
  15. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 462
  16. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 460
  17. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 75
  18. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 24
  19. BattleTech: Battle of Tukayyid, p. 162 "Shadow Hawk SHD-2Ht"
  20. Shadow Hawk SHD-2Ht entry on the MUL
  21. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 242
  22. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 76
  23. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 6
  24. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 26
  25. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 77
  26. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 78
  27. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 27
  28. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 28
  29. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 29
  30. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 30
  31. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 79
  32. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 31
  33. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 80
  34. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 242
  35. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 81
  36. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 82
  37. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 83
  38. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 243
  39. Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 12, p. 32
  40. BattleTech Dossiers: The Bounty Hunter, p. 25
  41. BattleTechnology, Issue 21
  42. 42.0 42.1 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (ingame)
  43. BattleMech Manual, Fourth Printing, p. 94, "BattleMech Quirk Table"
  44. BattleMech Manual Eratta (Version 5.0), p. 9, "BattleMech Quirk Table"
  45. Wolves on the Border