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US acquires decommissioned Taiwanese air defense systems for Ukraine

HAWK air defense system, illustrative image. Source
US acquires decommissioned Taiwanese air defense systems for Ukraine

The United States bought back the decommissioned MIM-23 HAWK (Homing All the Way Killer) air defense systems sold to Taiwan to provide them to Ukraine as part of a military aid package that should strengthen Ukrainian air defense, according to Taiwan News.

The US purchased Phase III MIM-23 HAWK air defense systems, which were retired from service in June 2023, according to Taiwan News. Consultations between the US and Taiwanese governments preceded the purchase agreement. The air defense systems will be transferred to the Ukrainian army to take down Russian drones and aircraft at low altitudes, according to Taiwan News.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense claimed the air defense systems would be disposed of under the current regulations and refused to comment on the alleged Taiwan-US deal to send these systems to Ukraine. Taiwan plans to replace the decommissioned MIM-23 Hawk air defense systems with the Sky Bow III (TK-3) system.

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The MIM-23 HAWK is an American medium-range surface-to-air missile system developed by Raytheon Company, a major US defense contractor and the world’s largest producer of guided missiles. This air defense system was designed in 1960 and has been modernized several times. The MIM-23 HAWK has three generations: Phase I, II, and III.

Initially, the system was designed to destroy aircraft and was later modified to intercept missiles. It is also effective against drones. The MIM-23 HAWKs are in service with many European countries, such as Greece, the Netherlands, France, Germany, etc.

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