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Taiwan’s Hawk missiles reportedly being sent to Ukraine via US in military aid package

HAWK-SAM

In a surprising development, reports have emerged that the United States will repurchase decommissioned Hawk missiles from Taiwan and provide them to Ukraine as part of a military aid package. The undisclosed information came from a reliable source and was published by the China Times, a local news outlet.

According to the report, discussions between high-level national security officials from the United States and Taiwan last year paved the way for an agreement between the two countries. As per the arrangement, the US will acquire the decommissioned Phase III MIM-23 Hawk missiles, which were taken out of service in June, from Taiwan. Subsequently, these missiles will be transferred to the Ukrainian army to bolster their capabilities in countering Russian drones and low-altitude aircraft.

The provision of Hawk missiles to Ukraine is part of the latest round of US military aid to the country. In January, Axios had previously reported that the US had sought assistance from Israel in procuring Hawk missiles for Ukraine. Furthermore, Spain initiated the transfer of Hawk missiles to Ukraine in October 2022, highlighting international efforts to support Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

The Ministry of National Defense in Taiwan refrained from commenting on the report when contacted by Taiwan News. However, it confirmed that the disposal of weapons adheres to strict military regulations. Under these regulations, surplus military products are generally not permitted for sale, unless there are special circumstances that receive approval from the ministry.

Taiwan’s air force disclosed that Hawk missiles have been actively used in 41 combat exercises spanning from 1965 to 2017, showcasing their effectiveness with an impressive success rate of over 90% in hitting their intended targets. The Hawk missiles, manufactured in the United States, are renowned for their capacity to neutralize enemy aircraft and intercept incoming missiles. Various countries, including Singapore and Japan, rely on these sophisticated weapons systems for their defense needs.

In light of the impending transfer, Taiwan is making arrangements to replace the decommissioned Hawk missiles with its domestically developed Sky Bow III (TK-3) missile. The move underscores Taiwan’s commitment to maintaining a robust defense posture and ensuring the continuity of its national security.

As the situation unfolds, the international community will closely monitor the impact of the Hawk missile transfer on Ukraine’s defense capabilities and the broader geopolitical implications in the region.

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