|“||This massive transport helicopter is used to move infantry units across the map quickly and efficiently, without regard to terrain. The Night Hawk Transport[sic] is also completely invisible to enemy radar, making it even more effective at shuttling units back and forth. It is vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire, however.
- Red Alert 2 manual(src)
The Allied Nighthawk Transport was designed to carry troops and spec-ops forces swiftly and safely from bases to an LZ, and also to evacuate Allied forces. To this end, Allied designers equipped the Nighthawk with radar baffling armour, making the unit undetectable by Soviet radar towers. Furthermore, the Nighthawk flies much more quietly than its predecessor. It is equipped with a nose mounted chaingun that was effective against infantry units. The Nighthawk possesses multiple hatches and a main rear hatch that allows it to quickly load and unload infantry.
Being the only air transport capable of being produced in the battlefield, it gave the Allies a huge advantage over its enemies. With the NightHawk, Allied commanders could send infantry swiftly to hard-to-reach areas, such as islands or areas surrounded by cliffs. On some battlefields, these are home to isolated but strategically useful outposts or Tech Buildings, so the NightHawk proved crucial to airlift engineers to capture these places. By contrast, Soviet and Yuri's commanders do not have this capability, so they must rely on ground transport to reach cliffed areas, which depending on the area may take much longer or may be outright impossible if the cliffs completely surround the place, or the Amphibious Transport to reach islands, which are slower and vulnerable to most enemy ships and submarines. Thus, clever Soviet and Yuri's commanders always looked for the opportunity to capture an Allied war factory so the could produce their own NightHawks.
The Nighthawk Transport helicopter was used by Allied commanders as a method of quickly deploying special forces units wherever they were needed on the battlefield. It was especially common to deploy Tanya, squads of Navy SEALs or Engineers. As it is stealthed against radar, the Nighthawk can be used to transport units undetected through a gap in the anti-air defenses of an enemy base, then deliver them into the heart of the base.
The Nighthawk, because of its very thin armor, is vulnerable to all forms of anti-aircraft fire. Although it can not be detected via radar, the Nighthawk can still be detected visually by enemy base defenses. Lastly, its machine gun was not effective against tanks.
NightHawks controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- 1x loaded with Tanya, 3 GIs and 1 Guardian GI proceed to unload near the Allied/Soviet Construction Yard before targeting it
- Need a lift?
- Air transport ready.
- Pick'm up, set'm down.
- What's your request?
- Maneuvers in progress.
- Tour underway.
- Visibility clear.
When ordered to attack
- Fire on sight!
- Clearing a path!
- LZ is hot!
- Cuttin' 'em down!
Behind the scenes
- The Nighthawk is voiced by Grant Albrecht, who also voiced the Soviet Rhino heavy tank and the installer voiceover.
- The Nighthawk resembles a fusion of the CH-46 Sea Knight and the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters, while according to the working name of the unit, "Black Hawk Transport", it would be the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. Both are used by the United States Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), a squadron responsible of transportation of the United States President. The Nighthawk in-game has the same role, at the end of Operation: Hail to the Chief, when secret servicemen escorted Dugan to a Nighthawk. HMX-1 is also nicknamed 'The Nighthawks'.
- The Nighthawk uses the same weapon (
BlackHawkCannonE) as the Soviets' Siege Chopper and the cut Hind transport.