The U9A Hawk was developed by Anvil Aerospace in 2935 as an attempt to secure the spacecraft production contract from UEE for project BRAWLER, a single-seat fighter oriented towards close-range dogfighting, logistics support and ground attack missions. The Anvil proposal was to develop a spacecraft that shares several components used in their Hornet lineup as they had a more limited budget compared to Aegis Dynamics' Bearcat. Both the Hawk and Bearcat won the first-round bids and were enrolled in testing by the 999th Test Squadron. The technically superior Bearcat struggled to accomplish the mission goals, while the Hawk passed with flying colors. While the Bearcat was better at ranged engagements and more traditional dogfighting, Anvil's design better matched the original specification. Ultimately, Anvil Aerospace earned the production contract for the project and delivered first production model in October 2938.
Although the Hawk had earned a production contract, it only saw limited adoption by the military. The Navy determined that while the Hawk was indeed suited to specific mission types, it was less suited to the realities of general space warfare. How, exactly, this deficiency had been overlooked during the contract bidding and evaluation process is a question beyond the scope of this article.
Despite its failure as a navy fighter, word of the Hawk's good performance in certain niche roles quickly spread to the bounty hunting community. In 2940, Anvil rolled out the civilian model U9C Hawk after a military oversight panel confirmed Anvil's ability to provide the design to the public. Unlike the military model, the U9C Hawk has several additions, including EMP weaponry and a containment pod capable of safely storing a single detainee. The U9C Hawk's release fortuitously coincided with a massive increase in bounty licenses in 2940. The sudden ease of obtaining these licenses created a so-called 'gold rush' of new bounty hunters lured by high payouts and romanticized media attention. These new hunters purchased Hawks in droves.
Anvil has announced via earnings call that active development of two Hawk variants will continue into 2948. The DireHawk project, which is based on a popular third-party conversion, aims to add an additional two Scattergun mounts and supporting batteries. The second variant is ShadowHawk, a stealth, variant intended for more advanced hunters and potentially military sale. At present, the ShadowHawk removes two guns in exchange for stealth armor coating and the addition of a data spike array. The ShadowHawk's future at retail is less certain, but it is expected to reach the prototype article stage before any decision is made.