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 launching facilities of the system in the southeastern part of the Libyan air base.
— 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.
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