Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Hawk PIP III, Homing All the Way Killer, I-Hawk and RBS97
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: MIM-23 HAWK
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1959
Total Production: ?
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Description: MIM-23 Hawk is a ground-based, mobile, medium-range air defense system against low and medium altitude airborne threats such as aircraft and missiles. Since 1962 has provided air defense to US Army and US Marine Corps land forces with air defense effective even in presence of countermeasures. It has been sold to over 15 international customers including majority of NATO countries. Hawk was deployed in conflicts in Vietnam, Middle East, Europe and Persian Gulf and used successfully by Israel (1973) and Kuwait (1990).
In the 1990s the Hawk was upgraded adding tactical ballistic missile engagement capability. Hawk missile system consists of TPS-59 (USMC) acquisition and tracking radars, a command post, an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, and three to four launchers with three missiles each. A further variant of Hawk replaced MIM-23 by SL-AMRAAM missiles. Nevertheless Hawk is obsolete in terms of modern warfare where longer range and more maneuverable surface-to-air missiles are needed to counter advanced threats.
Since the 1990s, the United States, Germany and Italy are developing MEADS as a replacement for Hawk and Patriot missile systems. Hawk retirement is expected to start in 2012 when MEADS would achieve initial operational capability.
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