Project BRAWLER is an UEE military spacecraft development project that ultimately leads to the development of the Anvil Hawk. The project was started in August 2935 by the United Empire of Earth’s High Command as they issued a set of tentative specifications for a new spacecraft role: a single-seat fighter oriented towards close-range dogfighting, logistics support and ground attack missions.The project was sourced to Aegis Dynamics, Anvil Aerospace and Drake Interplanetary, who all submitted first-round bids for the contract.
The Aegis proposal was a custom-tooled high-performance spaceframe nickname Bearcat. The company funneled over a billion credits, and the ship is intended to exactly meet the multi-role specifications.
The Anvil proposal was to develop a spacecraft that shares several expensive components used in their active Hornet lineup as they have a more limited budget compared to Aegis Dynamics. Although this place was considered risky, especially after Drake’s showing in the initial bid, their thinking was that the consolidation of shared parts would make their prototype the most appealing long-term option, even if it could not match the Bearcat in every performance category.
The result was the Hawk, a spacecraft best described by her first test pilot Macey “Push” Gregg as “overpowered, over gunned and under budget.” Built around a larger-than-expected powerplant, the Hawk team opted to trade engine performance for a full set of six cannons. While the Hawk shared components and construction methods with the Hornet, one difference was immediately visible: variable-geometry wings intended to allow the spacecraft to better operate from forward bases and short runways.
In January 2937, both prototypes were transferred to the Wreckless 999th Test Squadron and deployed to the Godiva Lake facility for a full comparative performance program. It was here that the wisdom of Anvil’s approach was quickly established: where the technically superior Bearcat struggled to accomplish the mission goals, 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. Their engineers had constructed a spacecraft that was both rugged and workable. Military observers took to referring to the hardy spacecraft as the ‘IronHawk,’ a term that would go on to see extensive use in Anvil’s marketing campaign.
Anvil Aerospace earned the production contract for the project. However, it ultimately saw limited adoption by the military.
The first delivery of production model U9A-1 Hawks occurred in October, 2938; the first unit to transition was the 38th Reconnaissance Wing based in the Corel System. Although assigned to a forward strike base at Lo, the reasoning for the deployment was to allow the Hawk trial-by-fire all-weather training on Castor. These Hawks performed well, though they found themselves with only a limited set of mission options as the relevant ground and close-range targets quickly learned to avoid the area. In 2947, only nine additional military units moved to the Hawk, and another five reserve wings continue to operate the spacecraft today.