6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (HAWK)

The Deadly HAWK Missile

Soviet’s Were Aware of the Lethalness of the HAWK Missile to Attacking aircraft during Vietnam

The Soviet’s were well aware of the lethalness of the HAWK missile system to aircraft attacking at low altitudes.

 In the SECRET USSR Ministry of Defense publication Collection of Articles of the Journal “Military Thought” This article asserts the first task of Soviet aviation during a conventional conflict to be the achievement of air supremacy. The principal means to this end is a surprise massive strike against enemy air bases and command and control facilities. A corollary target of this initial strike will be air defense installations, particularly Hawk missile sites. TU-16 aircraft carrying RBK-500 bombs are given the primary role in the initial attack.  This article appeared in Issue No. 3 (85) for 1968. 

In order to determine the forces which are to carry out this mission, it is advisable to take into account that the strike targets must be mainly Hawk batteries. The Nike-Hercules systems are of second strike priority, since their minimum range in altitude is 1500 meters and they therefore pose no threat to aircraft flying at lower altitudes. The author of this article was General-Mayor of Aviation G. Yarotskiy.

Combat Kills of the HAWK missile system

June 5, 1967 In an unusual incident an Israeli MIM-23A shot down a damaged Israeli Dassault MD.450 Ouragan (Israel - single seat fighter and fighter-bomber) that was in danger of crashing into the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona, the first combat firing of the Hawk, the first combat kill attributed to the Hawk system.

March 21, 1969 Before noon, a new Hawk battery, which was deployed at Baluza, north of the town of Kantara in the Sinai region detected an Egyptian MiG-21 aircraft which took off from Port-said airport. The controller, Yair Tamir, tracked the aircraft on the radar, in its flight from north to south along the Suez Canal, and when the MiG-21 broke to a course heading towards the Hawk battery, a missile was launched at it, which successfully destroyed the aircraft while it was flying at an altitude of 6,700 m. During the War of Attrition, Hawk batteries had shot down between 8 and 12 aircraft; Janes reports 12 kills as 1 Il-28, 4 Su-7, 4 MiG-17 and 3 MiG-21.

October 1973 Yom Kippur war 75 Israeli missiles were fired downing between 12 and 24 aircraft and one oil well on fire in Abu-Rodes oil field.


            Kuwait, 1 kill of an Iranian F-5 during the Iran-Iraq War.

      Iran, at least 40 Iraqi aircraft destroyed during the

   Iran-Iraq War.


February 12, 1986, 9 Iraqi aircraft downed by a Hawk site near al-Faw in southern Iraq during Operation Dawn 8. Among the aircraft, are Su-22 and MiG-23s.

September 7, 1987, French Army, 403rd Air Defense Regiment, in Chad, shot down a Libyan Tu-22B on a bombing mission with an MIM-23B during the Chadian-Libyan war. The particularity of this event is with its geographical situation, a few miles from a border. The attack began outside the Chadian territory proper and left the French with only a very small window of opportunity to shoot the intruder. The interception took place almost at the vertical of the battery. Debris and unexploded bombs from the Tu-22 rained over the position and injured no one.



August 2, 1990, Hawk missiles defending Kuwait against the Iraqi invasion in August 1990 are claimed to have shot down up to 14 Iraqi aircraft. Only two kills have been verified a MiG-23BN and a Su-22. Iraqi forces captured four or five Kuwaiti Hawk batteries.


Aircraft Shot Down by The HAWK Missile

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