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HAWK air defense systems successfully proved to be effective against Shahed drones

HAWK air defense systems successfully proved to be effective against Shahed drones

Air Defense SAM Ukraine War with Russia

The U.S. HAWK SAM system proved effective against Shahed drones.

The command of the Ukrainian Air Force shared about one of the units that shot down six drones in just one battle.

“Oleksandr is a HAWK air defense system operator. He has two dozen Shahed drones and four missiles to his credit,” the Air Force reported on the maintenance of the SAM system.

Oleksandr’s crew was trained in Spain on the American HAWK air defense systems.

“While studying abroad, we worked on simulators, and the instructors explained that due to certain technical features, the system is not really designed for drones,” the soldier shares.

Збиті безпілотники Shahed та ракети комплексом HAWK українських військових. 2024 рік. Україна. Фото: Командування українських Повітряних Сил

However, during the first anti-aircraft battle, Oleksandr’s crew managed to destroy six Shahed drones.

Oleksandr admits that the most annoying thing is the Shahed drones. It’s not about the difficulty of the target – it’s the waiting for the battle that makes it tiring. After all, these drones fly rather slowly. It’s much easier to “work” with missiles, even when they are aiming at you.

“It was a little uncomfortable when three Kh-59 missiles, constantly changing altitude, flew directly at us. However, we managed to capture all the targets and shot them down individually. The main secret is not even in the weapons we use but in the synchronized and well-coordinated work of the unit,” the soldier said.

The first versions of the HAWK system hit air targets at a distance of 25 km and at an altitude of 14 km.

Зенітний ракетний комплекс HAWK українських військових. 2024 рік. Україна. Фото: Командування українських Повітряних Сил

After the upgrade, the maximum range of target interception increased to 40 km with a maximum altitude of 18 km.

Spain is actively transferring these systems to Ukraine and is also training Ukrainian crews.

Last October, the Spanish government agreed to transfer six M-192 launchers for MIM-23 Hawk air defense systems to Ukraine.

Air Defense SAM Ukraine War with Russia