MIM-23 Hawk – one more air defense system to protect the Ukrainian sky

After massive missile attacks on October 10, several NATO countries immediately promised to send additional air defense equipment to Ukraine. One such country was Spain, which offered 4 MIM SAM launchers -23 Hawk. Now, as reported by Reuters, the SAMs are going to be sent to Ukraine and the USA. It’s MIM-23 Hawk.

The development of the MIM-23 Hawk (Homing All the Way Killer) began back in… 1952. The developer is Raytheon (AGM-88 HARM, BGM-109 Tomahawk, FIM-92 Stinger, MIM-104 Patriot and so on). It was the MIM-104 Patriot that ultimately replaced the MIM-23 Hawk in the US Army in 1994.

The MIM-23 Hawk anti-aircraft missile system is not a new weapon, but it has undergone several modifications and is still better than Soviet counterparts. Moreover, over the past 60 years, the MIM-23 Hawk has received at least 6 significant updates, and the latest generation complexes have nothing in common with the first systems that entered service in 1960.

The latest version of the MIM-23 Hawk XXI features the same state-of-the-art AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel 3D pulse-Doppler radar as the NASAMS air defense system. The system of radio-electronic protection of missiles was improved, the possibility of targeting in conditions of radio-electronic countermeasures, the range and altitude of target interception increased, the probability of interception increased. The new warhead and its activation system made it possible to intercept even short-range tactical missiles.

The last update of the MIM-23 Hawk took place in 1995, and until 2002 these air defense systems were in service with the US Marine Corps.

Ukraine will receive MIM-23 Hawk Phase III from Spain, i.e., the 1989 upgrade complexes. The same systems are in service with the armies of Egypt, Greece, Israel (!), Jordan, Morocco, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the United Arab Emirates. Turkey and Iraq have newer Hawk XXI systems.

Each MIM-23 Hawk Phase III battery has four radars (two search, two target illumination and guidance); a fire control system, a “Home-Alien” system, 6 launchers with 3 missiles on each (18 missiles in total), 6 electric generators, 12 transport vehicles with ammunition of 36 missiles, 3 loading vehicles. Typically, MIM-23 Hawk launchers are mounted on small towed platforms, although self-propelled versions also exist.

So, the MIM-23 Hawk will further increase the variety of air defense equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and this is not very good. But we don’t have to choose, because they say that Russian terrorists received additional drones and tactical missiles from Iran. So, thank you Spain and USA!

Technical specifications of the MIM-23 Hawk
Weight – 590 kg
Length – 5.08 m
Diameter – 370 mm
Wingspan – 1.19 m
Warhead – 54 kg
Engine – solid fuel
Operational range – 45-50 km
Operational ceiling – 20,000 m
Maximum speed – Mach 2.4
Guidance – semi-active radar homing