Gov’t eyes enhanced HAWK surface-to-air missiles
As the Philippines moves ahead with its military modernization program, a defense official said the government is considering the acquisition of improved and enhanced versions of the Raytheon MIM-23 HAWK (Homing All the Way Killer) surface-to-air missiles (SAM).
Manufactured by US defense firm Raytheon Corp., the HAWK is a medium range SAM that has a range of about 40 kilometers and can reach targets flying as high as 40,000 feet.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “What we are looking at right now is having that shore-to-ship system coupled with the HAWK-5, an enhanced variant.”
The acquisition of this weapon aims to protect from air threats its shore-to-ship missile (SSM) launchers that the government is eyeing to acquire for the Philippine Army.
The Department of National Defense (DND) confirmed in December last year plans to acquire the SSM system. The project, which could cost P6.5 billion, consists of 12 launchers, trailers and tracking systems and missiles that could be fired to hit naval or sea targets.
DND Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez, vice chairman of the department’s bids and awards committee, said then that the acquisition will be carried out through “limited source bidding.”
Compared to a public bidding, limited source bidding is a process wherein fewer companies are invited to submit bids for the program.
The HAWK is capable of intercepting and destroying any hostile aircraft, drone, or rocket that may be sent to incapacitate or disabled the Army’s SSM system.
It was initially designed to destroy aircraft and was later adapted to destroy other missiles in flight.
The missile entered service in 1960, and a program of extensive upgrades has kept it from becoming obsolete.
Israel, one of the operators of the HAWK missile, has upgraded the Phase 2 standard with the addition of a Super Eye electro-optical TV system for detection of aircraft at 30 to 40 kilometers and identification at 17 to 25 kilometers.
They have also modified their system for engagements at altitudes up to 24,000 meters.
On Friday, after the signing of contract with South Korea for the purchase of 12 FA-50 aircraft and with Canada for the acquisition of eight Bell 412 helicopters, a defense official also revealed plans to buy six close-air support (CAS) aircraft to augment the existing OV-10 “Bronco” attack plane being operated by the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
DND Undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo said they are looking at the possibility of acquiring the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano.
The official likewise said they are still determining the price and suitability of the aircraft for the PAF.
The Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training.