- "I would recommend burning off the forest for a hundred kilometers around the generator and putting a small mechanized force of AT-ATs and juggernaut heavy assault vehicles under the umbrella shield. Add in point support from three or four wing-clusters of hoverscouts, and the rest of the troops and equipment could be reassigned to trouble spots elsewhere in the Empire."
- ―Grand Admiral Thrawn's recommendations for defending the shield bunker on Endor
Mekuun Corporation's Swift Assault 5 was a 15.9 meter-long hovercraft. It employed four Kasmin three-stage turbopumps to generate an air cushion. Kasmin's turbopumps were the most refined heavy-duty air blower of its type available, permitting the Swift Assault 5 to produce extra elevation and float when required. A Gurian S87 "perpetual charge" power plant dynamo provided power for the hoverscout; a power capacitor started the air blower rotation, and the energy generated by the vehicles air cushion was recycled via back-blast impellers to supplement the S87's power generation. The efficient engine design gave the Swift Assault 5 a longer operational range than equivalent vehicles of its size and type.
Capable of speeds up to two hundred kilometers an hour, the Swift Assault 5's speed and maneuverability were not on par with standard repulsorlift vehicles, despite it having being modified from standard hover vehicle specifications to deal with military demands for traversing rough and rugged terrain. The hoverscout was favored on planets where terrain and planetary conditions caused erratic behavior in the operation of repulsorlift engines.
Swift Assault 5 could be piloted by a single crewmember, but an optimal crew of four allowed all the craft's weapon systems to be employed without loss of efficiency. Training to crew a hoverscout required less equivalent training than was required to crew a repulsorlift vehicle. Six passengers could also be accommodated. Standard sensor packages included weapon-linked electro photo receptors at each crew position, as well as long-range communications equipment. Other sensor and communications packages could be installed depending on the mission profile. Between fifty and four hundred kilograms of cargo could be carried, in five hundred cubic centimeters of space. It could also store consumables for two days.
The Swift Assault 5 had an excellent maintenance and failure rate that was better than other floater scouts of similar type available on the market, and it was cheaper and easier to maintain. They could be purchased new for 75,000 credits, and used for between 45,000 and 55,000 credits.
Although lightly-armored, so as not to impair its maneuverability, the Swift Assault 5 could nevertheless withstand a direct hit. The doors and weapons ports on the vehicle were sealed, giving the hoverscout a fully closed and recyclable interior atmosphere. A wide field of vision for the pilot was achieved through the application of a windscreen made of ceraglass, a ceramic alloy that was both transparent and as tough as armor. The hoverscout was heavily armed, with three main weapons. A Mk 3/S heavy blaster cannon that was turret-mounted, and a light Mk 1/S laser cannon and Mk 2e/S concussion missile launcher that were able to fire in front and to the sides of the vehicle. Some models mounted a double blaster cannon and a double laser cannon, and a payload of either six Mk 1/S concussion missiles or sixteen concussion missiles was carried.
The Swift Assault 5 was employed on a variety of worlds, deployed by a wide array of ground forces in numerous combat conditions, and proved its worth as an efficient combat vehicle. The Imperial Army typically deployed the hoverscout as a reconnaissance asset, or for offensive point operations, and it was as used in conjunction with other hoverscouts for raiding duty or as part of the rearguard. The hoverscout could be used independently, or with support from either infantry or armor units.
Shortly after the end of the Clone Wars, the Galactic Empire used Swift Assault 5s to patrol Prak City on the planet Prakith. Three hoverscouts attempted to stop the Mistryl Shadow Guards Shada D'ukal and Karoly D'ulin from stealing the Imperial prototype weapon codenamed "Hammertong" in 0 BBY. Eight months after the Battle of Yavin, Grand Admiral Thrawn counseled Galactic Emperor Palpatine to use hoverscouts in conjunction with All Terrain Armored Transports and juggernauts to defend the Endor shield generator bunker before realizing that the Emperor intended Endor to be a trap for the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
In 5 ABY, the Empire used hoverscouts to patrol the countryside outside of Barons Hed. In 7 ABY, an assault force of stormtroopers were backed by a hoverscout when raiding an Alliance operation to switch out computer cores at the Palar plant on the capital Coruscant. Members of Rogue Squadron, backed by Black Sun elements and the Alien Combine, were attempting to insert a doctored core into the computer controlling Coruscant's planetary shield. The operation was sold out by Zekka Thyne.
During Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic in 9 ABY, one of his senior Army commanders, General Freja Covell, deployed hoverscouts alongside All Terrain Armored Transports. They were employed during Thrawn's assault on Talon Karrde's Myrkr Base.
- Dark Tremors
- Hammertong: The Tale of the "Tonnika Sisters"
- "The Occupation of Rhamalai"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 13 (as hoverscout)
- Choices of One (Mentioned only)
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent
- (as hoverscout)
- X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble
- Tatooine Ghost
- Heir to the Empire (First mentioned)
- Dark Force Rising (First appearance)
- Dark Force Rising audiobook
- Imperial Sourcebook (First mentioned)
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- Wanted by Cracken
- Star Wars Gamemaster Handbook (as Hoverscout)
- Imperial Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Star Wars Miniatures Battles Companion
- "The Cure"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 6 (as hoverscout)
- Heroes & Rogues (as hoverscout)
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen, Revised
- "Special Military Unit Intelligence Update"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15 (as Hoverscout)
- "Milk Run"—Polyhedron 83
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (as hoverscout)