The United States is considering sending its outdated HAWK air defense equipment from storage to Ukraine to help it defend against Russian drone and cruise missile attacks, two U.S. officials have revealed.
The HAWK interceptor missiles are an upgrade to the Stinger missile systems – a smaller, shorter range air defense system – that the United States has already sent to Ukraine.
The Biden administration said on Tuesday, October 25 that it would use the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) to transfer the HAWK equipment which is based on Vietnam-era technology, but has been upgraded several times. The PDA allows the United States to transfer defense articles and services from stocks quickly without congressional approval in response to an emergency.
The HAWK system is the predecessor to PATRIOT missile defense system made by Raytheon Technologies (RTX.N) which remains off the table for Ukraine, U.S. officials say according to reports.
After a devastating missile barrage from Russia earlier this month,U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskiy that Washington would provide Ukraine with advanced air systems
Also, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Spain intends to send four HAWK launchers.
The United States would likely initially send interceptor missiles for the HAWK system to Ukraine because it was unclear if enough U.S. launchers were in good repair, one U.S. official told Reuters. The U.S. systems have been in storage for decades.
Since the Feb. 24 Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, the United States has sent around $17.6 billion worth of security assistance to Kyiv.