Spain to Send Four Hawk Air Defense Systems to Ukraine

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  • 10:41 AM, October 14, 2022
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Spain to Send Four Hawk Air Defense Systems to Ukraine
Missile launched from Hawk’s mobile launcher @via open sources

Spain will deliver four Hawk anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine to help the country protect itself from incoming Russian missiles and drones.

Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, posted on his official Twitter account on Thursday that Spain has agreed to send Hawk systems to Kyiv. “It’s quick response for Ukraine’s request at Ramstein. There are more Hawks on the way. Today, air defense is a priority not only for Ukraine, but for all of Europe,” Reznikov said.

Manufactured by Raytheon, the MIM-23 Hawk was first adopted in 1960, and since then it has undergone several modernization programs. The system was initially designed to destroy aircraft. Later, it was finalized to intercept missiles. The first versions of the system had a range of 25 km for aerial targets, and an altitude of 14 km. After modernization, the maximum target interception range of the Hawk increased to 40 km with a maximum interception altitude of 18 km.

The main firing unit of the Hawk is the anti-aircraft battery, which usually consists of two firing platoons with three launchers each. Each mobile launcher houses three MIM-23 anti-aircraft missiles. Launchers can be either self-propelled or towed.

In addition to launchers, the battery, depending on the modification, includes various radars, a mobile control post, an IFF system and several other auxiliary equipment.

Spain received first upgraded MIM-23 Hawk anti-aircraft missile systems in 2021. Modernization affected radar stations and launchers, on which analog components were replaced with digital ones, thereby extending the service life of the air defense system. This is the first phase of the upgrade, and from 2025 it is planned to replace target detection radar stations with more modern Sentinel.

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