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Spain to Send Four MIM-23 Hawk Air Defense Systems to Ukraine

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Spain to Send Four MIM-23 Hawk Air Defense Systems to Ukraine

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Spanish Army MIM-23 Hawk Air Defense Systems
Spanish Army MIM-23 Hawk Air Defense Systems

Spain will deliver four Hawk anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine to help the country protect itself from incoming Russian missiles and drones. Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov thanked Spain for the decision to hand over four Hawk air defence systems to Ukraine. Spain received its first HAWK missile batteries in 1965, operated by the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment. During the 1970s and 1980s, these systems were upgraded to the Improved-HAWK configuration, which enhanced the missile’s ability to intercept low-flying targets, increased the lethality of its warhead, strengthened the resilience of its guidance system to electronic warfare and increased the missile’s overall performance.

Spain received first upgraded I-Hawk: (MIM-23B 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. The new warhead produces approximately 14,000 2-gram (0.071 oz) fragments that cover a much larger 70 degree arc. The missiles M112 rocket motor has a boost phase of 5 seconds and a sustain phase of 21 seconds. This is the first phase of the upgrade, and from 2025 it is planned to replace target detection radar stations with more modern Sentinel.

Spanish Army MIM-23 Hawk Air Defense Systems
Spanish Army MIM-23 Hawk Air Defense Systems MIM-23 Hawk Air Defense Systems

The Raytheon MIM-23 HAWK (“Homing All the Way Killer, commonly referred to as “Hawk”)[2][disputed – discuss] is an American medium-range surface-to-air missile. It was designed to be a much more mobile counterpart to the MIM-14 Nike Hercules, trading off range and altitude capability for a much smaller size and weight. Its low-level performance was greatly improved over Nike through the adoption of new radars and a continuous wave semi-active radar homing guidance system. It entered service with the US Army in 1959. Hawk was superseded by the MIM-104 Patriot in US Army service by 1994. The last US user was the US Marine Corps, who used theirs until 2002 when they were replaced with the man-portable short-range FIM-92 Stinger.

The Hawk system consists of a large number of component elements. These elements were typically fitted on wheeled trailers making the system semi-mobile. During the system’s 40-year life span, these components were continually upgraded. The Hawk missile is transported and launched from the M192 towed triple-missile launcher. The missile is propelled by a dual thrust motor, with a boost phase and a sustain phase. The MIM-23A missiles were fitted with an M22E8 motor which burns for 25 to 32 seconds. The MIM-23B and later missiles are fitted with an M112 motor with a 5-second boost phase and a sustain phase of around 21 seconds. The M112 motor has greater thrust, thus increasing the engagement envelope.

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