Celebrating the Global History of the HAWK
Lauded for its adaptability, dependability and affordability,
the HAWK system has been employed by more than 23 countries
around the world. Raytheon welcomed six of those countries to
the 50th anniversary celebration, including delegations from
Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan, France, Norway and Turkey. Their
presence reinforced that the HAWK community is a global one,
based upon partnership and good will between nations.
Former Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas
L. Phillips, whose career with Raytheon spanned 42 years,
offered attendees a glimpse into history, sharing his journey
with the HAWK program from the time of its inception.
“In 1952 the Army was concerned with how
to defend its field army against aircraft,” Phillips explained.
“The Army issued Raytheon a test contract worth $2.4 million
with 13 tasks. The Raytheon team not only addressed each task in
its report, but also submitted an unsolicited proposal for an
integrated solution.” As a result of its foresight, Raytheon was
awarded the prime contract for the HAWK system on July 1, 1954.
“HAWK was the company’s first integrated system,” Phillips
explained. “We had to provide the rocket motor, airframe,
guidance system, tracker, seeker, radar, illuminator, launcher
and battery control center. This would be the first of many
integrated systems that Raytheon would develop.” Less than two
years later HAWK scored a direct hit, and by 1959 the U.S. Army
had fielded its first HAWK batteries.
On June 22, 1956, Raytheon Company’s HAWK
air defense system underwent its first test launch and
interception of a fast-moving airborne target.
Fifty years later, on June 22, 2006,
Raytheon hosted the HAWK 50th Past Present Future reception at
the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
The event featured Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and was
attended by Raytheon Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson and
more than 150 Raytheon leaders, employees, retirees and
customers from around the world. It celebrated the technical
innovation and proven performance that have made HAWK one of the
world’s most important — and longest-lived — defense systems.
Air Defense Trends
IMPROVED HAWK CONTRACTS AWARDED
The US Army
Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, has announced that
the Army has awarded Raytheon Company contracts in excess of $50
million which call for Fiscal Year 1971 production of missiles
and equipment for the Improved Hawk system. Largest of the
awards, which was $26.3
million, called for an undisclosed quantity of missiles, while
$20.9 million will be spent for ground support equipment.
A smaller contract for $2.8 million calls for additional
engineering services on the Hawk system. Most of the work will
be performed at Raytheon's Andover, Massachusetts, facility.
Hawk is the
Army's air defense system that can destroy high- performance
aircraft and air-breathing guided missiles operating at low
altitudes. It is deployed with US Army and Marine Corps units in
the United States and overseas.
Improved Hawk Program the outward configuration of the 16-foot
missile is unchanged, but the missile contains a new guidance
package, a larger warhead, and an improved motor propellant.
The Hawk program is managed by US Army Missile Command, Redstone
Arsenal, Alabama, and Raytheon Company is the prime contractor.
AIR DEFENSE TRENDS
Service testing of a
self-propelled (SP) Hawk platoon will begin soon in the Dona Ana
maneuver area of Fort Bliss; The US Army Air Defense Board, as
an agency of the US Army Test and Evaluation Command, will
conduct the test which will require 6 weeks and will take place
under conditions expected in peacetime and wartime service.
SP Hawk platoon increases the mobility and flexibility of the
conventional Hawk battery-a unit already acclaimed for its
capability to relocate and prepare for an engagement in record
time. The self-propelled Hawk (fig 1) is basically a
self-propelled; full-track vehicle equipped with a 60-kilowatt
generator mounting a modified launcher with three ready Hawk
missiles. The three vehicles in each platoon carry a total of
nine missiles and tow two radars and a fire direction central.
The compact and independent fire unit is expected to move across
terrain impassable to wheeled vehicles and to be emplaced in
less time than the basic Hawk battery.
A rigorous schedule,
based on the realities of known and expected field service, will
test the equipment against design specifications and determine
the effectiveness of soldiers to operate and maintain the
platoon. Travel over hundreds of miles of road, ranging from
paved highway to trails, is designed to test structural
strength, collect fuel and oil usage data, and determine the
extent of maintenance and repair. The time required to prepare
the system for action and fire upon attacking high-performance
aircraft will be of special interest.
Other tests will measure
the reaction time of men and equipment from the moment of target
detection to missile lift-off. Present planning envisions two
self-propelled Hawk platoons, equipped with the new full-track
vehicles, and one towed Hawk platoon in each Hawk battery. Three
self-propelled batteries and a headquarters battery will form a
battalion. Battalions converted from basic Hawk to
self-propelled will realize an increase in the number of fire
units and ready missiles. Two officers, one warrant officer, and
approximately 30 enlisted men will man the new self-propelled
The report of the
service test will be a primary basis for equipment improvement
and is a part of the Army's program to insure that new equipment
issued to troops is effective, dependable, and safe to operate.
The Hawk, second of the
ARADCOM weapons, came into the arsenal in June 1959. Hawk stood
for "Homing All the Way Killer" and the missile, effective from
treetop level to medium altitude, complements the high-altitude
Nike Hercules. The first Hawk units deployed within the
continental United States as a part of the active, on-site air
defense system were emplaced in southern Florida during the
Cuban crisis of October 1962. They are now part of the permanent
defenses of ARADCOM.
The stated mission of
self-propelled (SP) Hawk is "to provide all-weather air defense
of the division area against low- and medium-altitude aircraft.
A comparison of
organization and capabilities between towed and SP Hawk might
show how this mission accomplishment is enhanced by SP Hawk.
Towed Hawk battalions are organized in the conventional air
defense four-firing-battery organization (fig 2), while
self-propelled Hawk battalions have only three firing batteries
(fig 3). At first glance it would appear that this decrease of
one firing battery represents a decrease in capability; an
examination of firing battery organization and equipment shows
why this is not true. The towed Hawk battery (fig 4) has a
firing platoon containing two firing sections; each section has
three towed launchers, for a battery total of six. It follows
that the towed Hawk battalion's total firepower capability is
represented by 24 launchers within the four batteries. The SP
Hawk battery (fig 5) has three firing platoons, one towed and
two self -propelled. Each platoon has three launchers for a
battery total of nine. Thus, the SP Hawk battalion, with its
three batteries, has 27 launchers, or three more than does the
towed battalion. Looking at it another
way, a towed
Hawk battalion has eight fire units and an SP battalion has
The towed platoon of an
SP battery is the same as a battery (minus) of towed Hawk; i .e.
, it contains a
battery control central (BCC), pulse acquisition radar (PAR),
continuous- wave acquisition radar (CWAR), high-powered
illuminator radar (HIPIR), range-only radar (ROR), three towed
launchers, generators, and associated equipment. Each SP platoon
includes a trailer-mounted BCC which serves as the platoon
command post (PCP), CWAR, HIPIR, and three SP launchers with
missiles, and such related equipment as the interconnecting box.
The SP launcher is a modification of the
cargo carrier. Each
launcher has its own onboard generator, and Hawk crewmen will be
happy to learn that each launcher has a powered cable reel,
rather than using GI power (see photo below). Figure 6 shows the
battery major items of tactical equipment.
firing battery major items of tactical equipment. men a towed
Hawk battery displaces by echelon, or breaks down into two
separate fire units, the augmented assault fire unit
towed loads of equipment. An SP
Hawk firing platoon with the same
amount of firepower requires only three towed loads (fig
facet not yet discussed is identification. With the present
towed Hawk battery, the identification, friend or foe (IFF), is
transmitted through the antenna of the PAR; consequently,
when an AAFU is in operation, there is no identification
capability except that transmitted by voice over the unit's
organic radios. With SP Hawk,
7. Comparison of SP Hawk firing sections and towed Hawk
augmented assault fire unit. The normal status for an SP Hawk
battalion will probably be assignment or attachment to the ADA
group at corps level within the field army. Ideally, SP Hawk
battalions should be allocated one per division on line. It may
prove feasible, especially during offensive operations, to
further attach SP battalions to divisions. This brings to light
an interesting command and control relationship because the
Chaparral/Vulcan battalion commander is the division
air defense officer and
will remain so even though Hawk is also attached to the
division. The same deployment guidelines as presently used with
towed Hawk are still applicable for the SP battalion. Any time
Hawk is deployed with Nike Hercules, it should be positioned to
complement Nike Hercules with low-altitude coverage; therefore,
the primary deployment guideline is early destruction along
low-altitude routes of approach. Because of Hawk's relatively
short range, defense in depth is important with Hawk units being
one behind the other to
insure engagement until target destruction. Also, because of
Hawk's small dead zone and because fire units will periodically
be nonoperational for maintenance, mutual support is desired
within the defense with fire units providing mutual protection
and coverage of adjacent units' dead zones. Mutual support can
be achieved if fire units are positioned no farther apart than
0.8 of Hawk's maximum effective range. With towed Hawk this is
sometimes impossible or impractical because of the size of the
The fact that SP Hawk
has three fire units per battery
support much easier to achieve, with each battery capable of
fighting the air battle from three separate locations
The SP Hawk is even more
flexible in deployment options than towed Hawk. With three fire
units per battery in the division area, the two SP platoons
could be sent forward, up to 10 to 15 kilometers behind the FEBA,
while the towed platoon, with its lesser degree of mobility and
survivability, could remain in place 20-30 kilometers from the
weapon was placed into operation during 1960, and there are now
deployed by the US Army in West Germany, the Panama Canal Zone,
Okinawa, and Vietnam.
In addition, five North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations use
the HAWK: West Germany,
Italy, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Sweden, Isræl,
Sandia Arabia, Japan, and.
the Republic of China have also purchased the HAWK system for
their defense. The US
Marine Corps placed
the HAWK in operation during 1962 and have also deployed it in
Hawk battalions have recently been withdrawn from the Panama
HAWK air defense missiles
self-propelled triple launcher.
the World Aircraft