It was designed to emulate the TIE/LN starfighter: fast, lightweight, and easily mass-produced with low-cost standard parts.
Hornets had thin, rounded bodies with wings that could be deployed in atmospheres. The command pod had its own section, and could be ejected in emergencies. They were lightly armored, shielded, and highly maneuverable.
Their laser cannons could be turbocharged, causing twice the normal damage but became prone to overheating as a result. Even when not turbocharged, the lasers were more powerful than standard.