US is considering to provide Ukraine with Hawk air defense missile systems

According to information published by the International Press Agency Reuters on October 26, 2022, after Spain, the United States is considering the possibility of providing Ukraine with Hawk air defense missile systems.
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A MIM-23 Improved Hawk surface-to-air missile successfully fires from its launcher platform during a JGSDF MIM-23 Improved Hawk live-fire training exercise conducted at Camp McGregor Operational Readiness Training Complex, Fort Bliss Oct. 20, 2018. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

On October 13, 2022, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Spain would send four medium-range Homing All the Way Killer (HAWK) air defense missile systems to Ukraine. The delivery of Hawk surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine has now been confirmed by Spain.

Citing information published by Reuters, the United States administration would use the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) to transfer the HAWK equipment to Ukraine. The development of the Hawk surface-to-air missile system started in 1959 but has been upgraded several times.

The Hawk missile system was designed to counter the low-altitude threat. The system is reliable, mobile, and accurate and has the capability to engage two targets simultaneously. Several missiles can be in flight at the same time. Each missile battery has the personnel, equipment, and facilities required for the operation or movement of the complete unit.

Semi-active homing guidance is used in the Hawk system for missile control during flight. Ground-based continuous-wave radars acquire and track the target. The missile receives radiofrequency (RF) energy reflected from the target and uses this energy in the development of steering commands to direct the missile to the target.

The latest generation of Hawk missile, the MIM-23B has a larger 74 kg blast-fragmentation warhead, a smaller and improved guidance package, and a new M112 rocket motor. The new warhead produces approximately 14,000 2-gram fragments that cover a much larger 70-degree arc.

The MIM-23B missile has a firing range from 1.5 to 35 km and a maximum engagement altitude of 18,000 m. The missile has a peak velocity of around 500 m/s (1,600 ft/s). It is fitted with both radio frequency proximity and impact fuses. The guidance system uses an X-band CW monopulse semi-active radar seeker.

A typical Phase-III MIM-23B Hawk air defense missile battery consists of:

1 × PAR: Pulse Acquisition Radar—a search radar with a 20 (+/−2) rpm rotation, for high/medium
altitude target detection.
1 × CWAR: Continuous Wave Acquisition Radar—a search doppler radar with a 20 (+/−2) rpm
rotation, for low altitude target detection.
2 × HIPIR: High Power Illuminator doppler Radar—target tracking, illumination, and missile
1 × FDC: Fire Direction Center
1 × IFF: Identification Friend or Foe Transceiver
6 × DLN: Digital Launchers with 18 missiles.
6 × MEP-816: Generators 60KW (400 Hz) each.
12 × M-390: Missile transport pallets with 36 missiles
3 × M-501: Missile loading tractors.
1 × bucket loader