Lebanon Receives More MD-530F+ Attack Helicopters From US
The Lebanese Air Force this week took delivery of six additional MD-530F+ light attack helicopters from the US amounting to $40 million.
Mounted with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System, the attack helicopters are designed to enhance scout attack and close air attack capabilities. The chopper features 62mm ballistic armor protection, FN Herstal .50 caliber machine gun pods, M260 7-shot rocket pods, laser designators, and Harris Falcon III radios.
The aircraft also boasts an all-glass cockpit that features Genesys Aerosystems LCD primary displays, Ares weapons management system, and Tek Fusion mission management system.
Delivery of additional six units of MD-530F+ helicopters to Lebanon is expected to bolster the country’s defense capabilities, especially along its border with Syria.
Lebanon currently has a total of 12 MD-530F+ helicopters. The first batch of six arrived at Beirut Air Base in October.
استُهلّ الحفل بعرض جوي للطوافات، ثم قدّم قائد القوات الجوية اللبنانية العميد الركن الطيار زياد هيكل إيجازاً عن قدرات الطوافات ومواصفاتها القتالية.#الجيش_اللبناني #LebaneseArmy pic.twitter.com/KrXsXR9jrd
— الجيش اللبناني (@LebarmyOfficial) November 16, 2021
‘Enduring Partnership’ With US
During an acceptance ceremony at Hamat Airbase, US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy C. Shea remarked that the American armed forces have been working closely with their Lebanese counterpart since 2017 to ensure efficient combat capabilities of military aircraft.
She also explained that the delivery of additional MD-530F+ helicopters and the other military assistance of the US to Lebanon only reflect the “enduring partnership” between the two countries.
“We remain committed to pursuing additional ways that we can help the [Lebanese Air Force],” the ambassador said. “We know your country is going through difficult times… We are working aggressively to help find solutions to those problems.”
In addition to new attack helicopters, the American government has pledged $67 million in annual Foreign Military Financing support to Lebanon. The Embassy also revealed that the US had already set aside $120 million for the Lebanese armed forces this year.