These helicopter gunships are a derivative variant of the AH-64 Apaches that were used by the Brotherhood in the First Tiberium War, and were developed in light of their predecessors' performance inferiority compared to the Global Defense Initiative's newly developed Orca Fighters, as well as to increase local anti-air capability.
After the start of the Second Tiberium War, Black Hand leader Anton Slavik took his loyalist forces to combat those of the rebel leader General Hassan. During one of his missions, Slavik rescued a captured Nod commander that was trapped in one of Hassan's prison bases and used a Harpy to evacuate him from the facility. Before, at the onset of the Firestorm Crisis, Slavik asserted his dominion over the Inner Circle by having his agents assassinate rival generals: one of whom was traveling on his Harpy when it exploded.
These gunships were later retired from their service in the Brotherhood's arsenal as they had simply become obsolete in the new generation. Work then began on a replacement utilizing Vertical Take Off and Landing mechanisms: the very same technology used to create the Orca. This would lead to the creation and immediate deployment of the new Venom patrol craft, which saw extensive use during the Third Tiberium War.
Compared to it's predecessor: the AH-64 Apache, the Harpy features a much more aerodynamic and sleek design, a powerful rotor and an integrated chaingun cannon on its forward section. It is mainly a scout - used to patrol areas or evacuate important personnel, but its powerful chaingun also makes it the bane of infantry: capable of easily slaughtering waves of advancing infantrymen.
Though it no longer carries rockets nor missiles like its predecessor, it is equipped with an advanced 30mm rotary chain gun - far more powerful than the one mounted on the Apache: giving it terrifying firepower against infantry and light vehicles. Though they were incapable of doing very much against heavier armor, and as such were no match for GDI's Hover MLRS and Mammoth Mk. II walkers.
The basic air unit of the Brotherhood of Nod in Tiberian Sun, the Harpy is weak against almost any target that isn't an infantry unit—though it can still be useful for harassing weak units that lack anti-air capabilities. And since it is inherently invisible on the mini-map - it becomes quite useful as a decoy or distraction.
- Deadly against infantry and light vehicles
- Very fast
- Far better against infantry than the Orca Fighter
- Relatively cheap in the Firestorm expansion ($800)
- Radar invisible
- Poorly armoured
- Ineffective against heavy vehicles and buildings
- Must return to a helipad for reloading
- Possesses a very lengthy reload time
- Relatively expensive in Tiberian Sun ($1000)
- Slower than the Orca Fighter
- In Greek mythology, the Harpy was a horrible half-woman, half-bird monster who harassed its enemies from the sky.
- Despite the fact that the Harpy has rotors in renders, there are visibly none present in-game—due to engine limitations.