The Shadowhawk was developed as a stealth variant of the Thunderhawk, sporting all manner of technologies that made it invisible to all but the most sensitive of Augurs.
By the time the Primarch Corvus Corax took command of his Space Marine Legion, the Great Crusade was over a standard century old. Corax was quick to impose the style of war he had perfected in the dungeons of Lycaeus over that which had come to define the XIX Legion, melding stealth and guile with vigilance and swiftness. During the restructuring of the XIX Legion, it commissioned several innovations from the forges of Mars, all of them cunningly wrought to further its mastery in the arts of stealth and speed.
It was during this time that the Thunderhawk gunship was entering more widespread use amongst the Legiones Astartes, replacing the aging Stormbird series of dropships. The Raven Guard secured for themselves the Shadowhawk variant, along with the Whispercutter, an open air-frame flyer constructed about a gravitic impellor and capable of dropping ten Astartes into a war zone in utter silence and with practically no chance of detection.
Such technology was created not by the Martian Mechanicum nor any of their Forge Worlds, but by those master artificers of Kiavahr who formerly served that world's Tech Guilds. Utilising strands of machine canon unknown to the mainstream of the Mechanicum, the Kiavahran guild artificers created all manner of systems at the behest of the Raven Guard, and in time the Legion's Techmarines were inducted into these mysteries.
It has been speculated that the Kiavahrans might have been declared outcast by the jealous lords of Mars, were it not for the patronage of so august a body as the Legiones Astartes and the Primarch Corax.
- The Compliance of Indra-sûl (ca. 990.M30) - The Raven Guard Legion used Shadowhawks and Darkwings to infiltrate the massive glittering spire of silver that reached from the ground to the void above the planet. There they liberated the planet's remaining enslaved human population from the vile xenos Khrave, towering monstrosities who had gorged on standard centuries of captive bounty, impossibly strong and wielding foul Warp-glamours.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Type||Orbital Stealth Dropship||Operational Ceiling||N/A|
|Vehicle Name||Shadowhawk||Max Speed||2,000 kilometres per hour (approx.)|
|World of Origin||Kiavahr||Range||28,000 kilometres in atmosphere (approx.)|
|Known Patterns||Unknown||Main Armament||Unknown|
|Weight||121.0 Tonnes (approx.)||Secondary Ammunition||Unknown|
|Wingspan||26.65 Metres||Superstructure||55 millimetres (approx.)|
|Height||9.8 Metres||Hull||65 millimetres (approx.)|
|Vehicle Designation:||Unknown||Transport Capacity||30 Space Marines or 15 Terminator Marines or 1 Dreadnought or 1 Assault or Attack Bike squadron (Approx.)|
- The Horus Heresy: Book Three - Extermination (Forge World Series), pp. 134, 152