U.S. Ask Israel to Transfer MIM-23 HAWK Surface-to-air Missile to Ukraine

Israel has reportedly turned down the United States requests for the transfer of ten Hawk anti-aircraft batteries and hundreds of interceptor missiles to Ukraine over the past few weeks.

Israel is storing the surface-to-air missiles after they were decommissioned. While the defensive weaponry is outdated, Israel has not changed its policy of not transferring arms to Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Israel has refused to supply the country with arms. According to The Times of Israel, Israel is cautious since Russian forces control much of the airspace over Syria. This is vital to the country’s strategy to keep its freedom of operation there.

The new Israeli administration led by Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to continue providing humanitarian aid and other forms of assistance to Ukraine.

Israel has been granted access to a portion of the stocked armaments for use in times of crisis. These weapons were originally stockpiled for use by the United States in regional conflicts.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the United States was secretly sending hundreds of thousands of artillery shells to Ukraine from a large stockpile in Israel. As Israel sought to strike a balance between its relationships with the United States, Ukraine, and Russia, the previous government gave its blessing to the move.

American medium-range surface-to-air missile manufacturer Raytheon has released the MIM-23 HAWK (“Homing all the way killer”). It was meant to be a lightweight and portable alternative to the bulky MIM-14 Nike Hercules, trading off the range and altitude capability for portability.

Its low-level performance was greatly improved over Nike by adopting new radars and a continuous wave semi-active radar homing guidance system. It entered service with the U.S. Army in 1959.

The MIM-104 Patriot superseded Hawk in U.S. Army service by 1994. The last U.S. The United States Marine Corps utilized them until 2002 when they were replaced with the more mobile and shorter-range FIM-92 Stinger.

The missile was also produced outside the U.S. in Western Europe, Japan, and Iran. The U.S. never used the Hawk in combat, but other nations have employed it numerous times.

Approximately 40,000 missiles were manufactured. Ukraine began using the technology to defend itself from the Russian invasion. The initial system went live on December 3, 2022. According to Western assessments, it has an 85 percent chance of accomplishing its aim.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced the request in a January speech to the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby; a similar request was made to other nations that still operate the Hawk system or have it in storage.

Over the course of three wars—the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, and the Peace of Galilee War—the HAWK system has been credited with 36 aircraft and helicopter hits/downs since its introduction in 1965.

Super Eye, an Israeli electro-optical T.V. system, has been implemented into the Phase 2 standard, allowing for the detection of aircraft at ranges of 30–40 km and identification at 17–25 km. Their technique has been adapted for use at heights up to 24,000 meters.

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