The United States is considering the possibility of transferring HAWK air defence systems to Ukraine to help defend against Russian attacks with missiles and attack drones, Reuters writes with reference to two American officials.
The transfer is possible through the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which allows the transfer of defence articles and services from stocks in case of emergency quickly and without congressional approval.
The HAWK equipment is based on Vietnam-era technology but has been upgraded several times.
Reuters was unable to determine how many HAWK systems and missiles the United States has available to transfer. The White House declined to comment.
The HAWK system is the predecessor to PATRIOT missile defence system made by Raytheon Technologies (RTX.N) which remains off the table for Ukraine, U.S. officials have told Reuters.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the four HAWK launchers were to be sent by Spain. US President Joe Biden promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Washington would provide advanced air systems after a devastating missile attack earlier this month.
“The United States would likely initially send interceptor missiles for the HAWK system to Ukraine because it was unclear if enough U.S. launchers were in good repair, one U.S. official told Reuters. The U.S. systems have been in storage for decades,” the agency writes.
Officials said the PDA is scheduled to be considered later this week. One U.S. official said the amount of aid is likely to be about half the size of recent security packages worth about 700 million dollars.
The Militarnyy portal writes that the MIM-23 Hawk is an American medium-range surface-to-air missile system manufactured by Raytheon. It was introduced into service in 1960 and since then has undergone several modernization programs. Each mobile launcher carries three MIM-23 anti-aircraft missiles. The launchers can be self-propelled or trailed.