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Air Force Organ Gives Details of U.S. Hawk Missile Sold to Israel

April 23, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Details about the American Hawk missile supplied by the United States to Israel are given in the current issue of Air Force and Space Digest, organ of the U.S. Air Force Association, published today.

Israel has received, according to this authoritative publication, the “MIM-23A Hawk,” a surface-to-air missile for use against targets from treetop height to 50,000 feet. Its speed is supersonic, to enable it to overtake and destroy enemy aircraft with a “CW Radar” guidance system. The power system is revealed to be a solid-propellant booster. The warhead is conventional. The length of the Hawk missile is six feet six inches. It is 14 inches in diameter, and launch weight is 1,295 pounds. This missile is operational in Viet Nam, Okinawa, Panama, and NATO installations. It is being provided to Sweden and Japan as well as Israel.

The U.S. Defense Department is requesting $11,000,000 for development of an anti-missile version of the Hawk. Such a development would provide Israel with a means to intercepting and shooting down Egyptian ground-to-ground missiles. The anti-tactical missile version of the Hawk is as yet a theoretical concept, and may not prove feasible. Nor can it be determined if the United States is committed to modify the Hawks now in Israeli hands with such a modification.

U.S. sources have determined that Egypt possesses a ground-to-ground missile capable of hitting Israel, but report its value is assessed as propagandistic rather than tactical. The Egyptian missile guidance system is described as primitive. Its military value, with conventional warheads, is considered negligible.

U.S. sources said the Israeli Hawk battalion trained at Fort Bliss, Texas, would be capable of serving anti-tactical versions of the Hawk without great difficulty–should such a weapon prove practical.

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