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UK Hawk SAM

uk 75

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Back in the Cold War NATO deployed two belts of Surface to Air missiles in West Germany. Units of Nike and Hawk missiles were deployed from North to South.
In the British area in the North coverage had to be provided by Dutch and West German units.
British Army of the Rhine deployed Thunderbird mobile systems until the 70s. They had a similar capability to Hawk but I dont know if they were part of the belt.
Similarly RAF Bloodhound 2s served for a while in Germany to defend its bases.
When Rapier replaced the two longer ranged systems the UK certainly did not contribute to the belt.
The RAF provided peacetime air patrols in N Germany with 2 sqns of Lightnings and then Phantoms. The W German fighter squadrons would only join them in wartime.
The RAF and Army were interested in Hawk, presumably to contribute to the belt,but I suppose budgets couldnt afford them.
France had its own Hawk units but these were not deployed in W Germany.
If the UK economy had been more robust I imagine SACEUR would have welcomed UK Hawks and perhaps more Bloodhounds
 

alertken

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If...export earnings and import substitution had, in 1949, been a factor influencing Ministers' decisions to proceed with 20 (1950: 4) GW programmes, then our verdict is of abject, grovelling failure: Bloodhound 1+2, I have 783 rounds sold; Firestreak: some hundreds. Hawk >40,000, Sidewinders >150,000. HSD probably employed more people longer, repairing Hawk than they employed building Firestreak; BAeD as licensee , guidance, BGT AIM-9L/M, than on building Bloodhounds. A slice of SETEL (the Euro Consortium licencing Hawk) would have been a splendid piece of UK business.

But in 1949 Ministers did not give a moment's thought to such commercial issues. NATO not yet settled down, US not yet committed to Mutual Aid Programmes, to offer their kit to Allies on favourable terms (often free); independence, operational sovereignty, was Ministers' intent. Which, on SAM, AAM, they achieved. In that sense it is pointless to explore whether the UK item was "better" than the US'. If the US item was seen by US (and others) to do a job, then basta! job done. Release UK resources to do something else.

By the time Macmaillan cancelled Blue Water, 1962, UK had accepted that the NATO concept was robust: all for one, one for all, such that US (or France, Canada and others who supplied us with vital inventory) could be relied on - all in one boat. So we accepted that US nuclear warheads would not be mounted on a UK missile - why bother, and chopped it for Lance. So the last wholly-solo UK GW was...what... Sea Wolf? Everything else is either off-the-shelf or International Collaborative. Why should it not be?
 
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sferrin

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25,000 Nike Hercules were built. I gotta believe several thousand of those made their way to Europe as well.
 

uk 75

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The Nike belt in Germany was provided by Belgium, Netherrlands and US units as well as West German.
As far as I know RAF Bloodhounds only defended the RAFG airfields.
Thunderbird was the Corps SAm for UK 1 Corps until replaced by Rapier.
I was wondering whether UK Hawk in Germany could also have contributed to the Hawk belt. However, Bloodhound was well up to the role both in UK and W Germany so Hawk was not operated by the UK
 

alertken

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Saceur had nuclear-armed Hercules available in USAREUR and the Bundeswehr.
 
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