Taiwan denies donating decommissioned Hawk air defense missiles to Ukraine

Republic of Korea Armed Forces

Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng addressed rumors regarding the transfer of decommissioned Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to the United States, with the intention of subsequently donating them to Ukraine.  

Questioned by reporters after a parliamentary hearing on July 18, 2023, Chiu firmly denied the claims. Instead, the minister stated that the missiles that are still under the custody of the Chinese Academy of Sciences will be disposed of following the established procedures for decommissioned military equipment. Chiu emphasized that the handling of these missiles would adhere to proper scrapping protocols, ensuring their destruction in an appropriate manner.  

This response from the minister comes amid speculation surrounding the fate of the decommissioned missiles. The Taiwanese news portal China Times reported on July 14, 2023, that up to 100 Hawk missiles would be transferred to the United States. 

The minister also commented on Taiwan’s plan to acquire the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Defense Missile System or NASAMS Type 2 from the United States.  

Chiu pointed to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia as evidence of the system’s exceptional performance and its potential value for the country’s defense capabilities. To this day, eight NASAMS were delivered to Ukraine in an effort to bolster the defense of its airspace. 

However, despite acknowledging the system’s effectiveness, the minister clarified that no official agreement has been reached at this stage.  

The Taiwanese Armed Forces currently utilize various air defense systems to protect the country’s airspace. These include the US-made MIM-104 Patriot and the indigenous Sky Bow, or Tien Kung anti-ballistic missile and anti-aircraft defense systems.

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