New satellite images confirmed that Turkey had deployed at least one MIM-23 Hawk medium-ran air-defense system in al-Watiya Air Base in western Libya.
Obretix, a Twitter defence blogger, shared on July 4 the images that show four M-192 towed triple-missile launchers in the southeastern part of the Libyan air base.
Turkey deploying two MIM-23 Hawk air defense systems at al-Watiyah Air Base https://t.co/lZiw5A6wjf (3 Jul 2020) pic.twitter.com/jOpfc2DGzX
— Samir (@obretix) July 4, 2020
Earlier this week, Libyan sources released a video showing a Turkish convoy transporting radars and other components of the MIM-23 Hawk system to al-Watiya Air Base. The system was likely air-lifted from Turkey.
The Air Defense Command of the Turkish Air Force (TAF) has 16 Hawk systems, all were upgraded to the XXI standard. The system, that has a range of 45 km, was probably deployed to counter the armed drones of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Last year, Turkey deployed a Hawk system in Mitiga International Airport, to the east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Later, a second system was deployed in the Air Academy, near the city of Misrata.
Forces loyal to the Government of National Accord captured al-Watiya Air Base from the LNA on May 18. The offensive was backed by Turkey.
Turkey is reportedly planning to turn al-Watiya in the permanent base for its troops in Libya. The deployment of a MIM-23 Hawk air-defense system in the air base indicates that Ankara is already working to achieve this goal.
Turkish military is doing a textbook AD deployment by securing the forward air bases, it shows a very professional operational planning and rapid airlift capacity. The upgraded HAWK MIM 23 is a very potent medium range SAM, Iran using the older models in 1980’s had almost 95% hit probability and knocked down over 120 Iraqi Migs, Sukhois and Mirages, and unfortunately even 5 Iranian F-4E and F-5E due to poorly trained young crews initially. The Turks with AWACS will have better response and hit probability.
So what happened? How did the LNA aeroplanes get through? What do you think?