The AV-144 Falcon is a variation on the UV-144 Falcon tiltrotor aircraft designed for use in ground attack and tank hunting missions. It fills the role of a medium gunship, heavier then the Hornet, but lighter then the Pelican, Sparrowhawk, or Vulture. The aircraft differs from the standard Falcon in that troop bay has been replaced with an internal ordnance bay with six hardpoints for Scorpion air-to-ground missiles or Argent V air-to-air missiles. The aircraft also has hardpoints for two M41 LAAGs, MG460 Grenade Launchers, or 65mm dual purpose missile launchers similar to those carried by the AV-14 Hornet on the forward stub-wings, as well two underwing hardpoints for ANVIL missile pods or additional Scorpion or Argent missiles. In should be noted that weapons on the wing hardpoints cannot be fired when the rotors are lowered for forward flight, though the Class 2 launchers and internally stored weapons can. The aircraft has a modular cannon mount, typically retaining the chin-mounted 30mm cannon of the transport variant for targeting infantry, light vehicles, and aircraft at close ranges, thought it can also mount a rapid fire 20mm rotary cannon or a SPARTAN LASER for heavy anti-armor purposes. Under most circumstances, the cannon and air-to-ground missiles are operated by the gunner, while the air-to-air missiles and gunpods or Class 2 launchers are controlled by the pilot, however, all control functions can be delegated to either of the crew, or to an artificial intelligence (if available) in case the pilot or gunner is incapacitated or killed. The aircraft's main engine units consist of two turboprop rotors that can be raised for hovering like a helicopter or lowered so the aircraft can fly like a plane. The aircraft also has two small secondary jet engines to provide additional thrust.
The attack variant of the Falcon was introduced in 2530 along with transport variant of the Falcon. The both Falcon variants saw some action in the closing months of the of Harvest campaign, and in various engagements in the late 2530s and 2540s, however, it was not until the Battle of Reach that either variant of the Falcon saw extensive action, with the transport variant see use mainly as a transport for special forces such as the SPARTANs of Noble team, while the attack variants saw most use against the tide of Wraiths and Banshees deployed from the Covenant fleet. While there were some initial successes, the attempt proved futile in the end. The Falcon Gunship also saw action in the First and Second Battle of Earth, seeing action in battles against the Covenant all over the world, including in the North American campaign, including engagements in practically major North American city, in the a series of major battles in Europe, including the destruction of a Covenant teleporter near Athens, the major battles in around New Mombasa and Voi, Kenya, in the defense of UNSC HIGHCOM in Sydney, Australia, and in major battles in east Asia, including the battles to repel a Covenant Assault on UNSC factories and supply warehouses in Japan.