The Hawk System has been the Marine Corps' primary air defense since the early 1960's. The system has maintained its effectiveness against succeeding generations of high technology aircraft through periodic preplanned product improvement programs. An evolving system, HAWK is now in its Phase III configuration with research and development underway to obtain a tactical missile defense capability.
The system can be divided into three sections: acquisition, fire control, and firing sections. Target detection is provided to the fire control section from pulse and continuous wave radars for engagement evaluation. Target data can also be received from remote sensors via data link. The fire control section locks onto the target with high-powered tracking radar. A missile or missiles can be launched manually or in an automatic mode from the firing section by the fire control section. Radars and missile have extensive electronic counter counter measures (ECCM) capabilities.