Spain is handing Ukraine another package of military aid, which includes a battery of Aspide air defense systems, four Hawk air defense systems, anti-tank missile systems, as well as guns and shells for them. This was reported by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba at a briefing in Kyiv with his Spanish colleague Jose Manuel Albarez.
“I am very glad that there is a new package, it is already on its way to Ukraine, and in the near future our state will strengthen its defense capabilities, having received a battery of the Aspide anti-aircraft missile system and missiles for it, four Hawk air defense systems, anti-tank missile systems, cannons and shells for them, as well as other military equipment. This is exactly what we asked Spain for, it is something that will help us protect our civilian infrastructure,” Mr. Kuleba noted.
In general, Aspide is not an air defense system, but a family of European air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles that are based on Raytheon’s American AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range air defense missiles. But the air defense systems that use them are the Italian Spada and the Swiss Skyguard-Sparrow. Switzerland, which is trying to maintain neutrality, will not allow the supply of Skyguard-Sparrow from Oerlikon Contraves AG to Ukraine. It is more likely that we will receive the Spada complexes, because they are the ones in service with Spain.
Specifications of Aspide missiles
Starting weight – 220 kg
Warhead weight – 30 kg
Length – 3.7 m
Diameter – 0.203 m
Wingspan – 0.8 m
Range – 25 km (surface-to-air), 40 km (air-to-air)
Target altitude – up to 8,000 m
Flight speed – Mach 4, 1324 m/s
Engine – SNIA-Viscosa solid-propellant rocket
Guidance system – Selenia monopulse semi-active radar GPS
MIM-23 Hawk SAM is not new weapon (development began back in 1952), but it has undergone several modifications and is still better than Soviet analogues. Ukraine will receive MIM-23 Hawk Phase III from Spain, i.e., the 1989 upgrade complexes.
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
The name, caliber and number of guns that Spain is transferring to the Armed Forces has not yet been announced.
Thank you, Spain!