MIM-23 Hawk

MIM-23 Hawk

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MIM-23 Hawk

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The Raytheon MIM-23 Hawk is a U.S. medium range surface-to-air missile. The Hawk was initially designed to destroy aircraft and was later adapted to destroy other missiles in flight. The missile entered service in 1960, and a program of extensive upgrades has kept it from becoming obsolete. It was superseded by the MIM-104 Patriot in United States Army service by 1994. It was finally phased out of U.S. service in 2002, the last users, the U.S. Marine Corps replacing it with the man-portable infrared-guided visual range FIM-92 Stinger. The missile was also produced outside the US in Western Europe, Japan and Iran.

Although the U.S. never used the Hawk in combat, it has been employed numerous times by other nations. Approximately 40,000 of the missiles were produced. Jane's reported that the original system's single shot kill probability was 0.56; I-Hawk improved this to 0.85.Tony Cullen and Christopher F. Foss (Eds), Jane's Land-Based Air Defence Ninth Edition 1996-97, p. 296, Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group, 1996.

Similar Soviet systems are the SA-3 and SA-6.


Development of the Hawk missile system began in 1952, when the United States Army began studies into a medium range semi-active radar homing surface-to-air missile. In July 1954 development contracts where awarded to Northrop for the launcher, radars and fire control systems, while Raytheon was awarded the contract...
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