Spain to Donate Six Additional Hawk Missile Launchers to Ukraine for Defense Against Russian Invasion
During the European Political Community summit held in Granada, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez pledged to provide six additional Hawk missile launchers to Ukraine to confront the ongoing Russian invasion. This follows a previous donation of four units in 2022, which were the first that Ukraine had received since the war began. The purpose of the missile launchers is to defend Ukraine’s new grain export corridor from enemy bombing.
Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles provided more details about the new shipment of missiles. She explained that the six new anti-aircraft missile launchers will be integrated into a US battery. Additionally, in response to a request from the US, Spain will provide associated training to Ukrainian Hawk operators and maintainers starting next month. The minister also announced the upcoming delivery of artillery ammunition to Ukraine, as well as the shipment of heavy machine guns to reinforce the country’s anti-drone capacity.
Spain currently has 36 Hawk launchers in its arsenal, making up six anti-aircraft batteries. The first 24 units were integrated into the Army in 1965, while the remaining 12 were acquired second-hand from the United States in the 1990s. Despite being outdated, the Hawks have proven their value in air defense capabilities and have undergone modifications and upgrades to extend their lifespan until 2030.
The Hawk missiles weigh 630 kilograms and have high and low altitude sensors. They have a maximum range of 40 km and can reach an altitude of 18 km. The launchers are capable of deploying in three hours and can operate autonomously while integrated into the air defense system. They are guided by radar, which provides real-time information on enemy aircraft or missiles. Each launcher can carry up to three missiles, and the acquisition radar has a range of up to 120 km in distance and 80 km in altitude.
The donation of the additional Hawk missile launchers demonstrates Spain’s commitment to supporting Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression. The shipments will provide Ukraine with enhanced capabilities to protect its territory and key infrastructure, including the new grain export corridor.