US asked Israel to provide Ukraine with Hawk air defense

25 January, 10:15 PM
Hawk air defense system (Photo:Łukasz Pacholski/www.flickr.com)

Hawk air defense system (Photo:Łukasz Pacholski/www.flickr.com)

The United States has asked Israel for MIM-23 Hawk medium-range air defense systems – in order to transfer them to Ukraine, Axios reported on Jan. 25, citing Israeli and U.S. officials.

According to the article, Israeli military decommissioned Hawk systems ten years ago. A senior Israeli official told the publication that around ten Hawk batteries remain in storage in Israel.

Senior Israeli and U.S. officials said the Pentagon contacted the Israeli Defense Ministry two weeks ago, requesting the Hawk systems be transferred to Ukraine.

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A U.S. official said similar requests were made to several other countries that also have these SAN systems available.

Another source said that head of policy at the Israeli Defense Ministry, Dror Shalom, told his U.S. counterparts that Israel's policy on the issue hadn’t changed.

According to another Israeli official, Shalom told the Pentagon that Israeli Hawk systems were “obsolete” and unable to function, due to having been in cold storage without maintenance for a long time.

But other Israeli officials say Shalom's response to the Pentagon's request was inaccurate. They stressed that although those systems might be out of order, they can be repaired and put to use.

The Israeli Defense Ministry confirmed to Axios in a statement that “the position of the Israeli security establishment (on providing military assistance to Ukraine) hasn’t changed. Each request is “considered on an individual basis.”

On Dec. 2, Spain handed over the first Hawk anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine and announced it will provide training to Ukrainian troops. Washington subsequently promised to transfer Hawk missiles to supplement Spanish security assistance.

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