Lebanon to buy military aircraft from US

Lebanon to buy military aircraft from US
The US announces sale of ground attack aircraft to enhance the Lebanese armed forces' ability to "counter terrorist threats".
1 min read
10 June, 2015
Lebanon expects the delivery of the Super Tucanos in 2018 [Getty]
Washington has approved the sale of military aircraft to Lebanon, according to the US Defence and Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

The sale will include six EMB 314/A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, spare engines and parts and weapons systems, as well as training and other technical and logistics support at a cost of $462 million.

The Super Tucano is a two-seat propeller-driven light ground attack aircraft suited to close air support operations.

The Lebanese air force has no other fixed-wing attack aircraft, and has in the past converted helicopters to perform close air support operations.

According to IHS Jane's 360, Lebanon will receive the aircraft in 2018.

On its website, the DSCA said the sale "serves US national, economic, and security interests by providing Lebanon with airborne capabilities needed to maintain internal security... and counter terrorist threats."

The aircraft and equipment will be provided by US companies, though the Super Tucano was originally designed by the Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer.

The US is also supplying the Afghan air force with Super Tucanos.

The US has provided the Lebanese air force with more than $1 billion in military assistance over the past eight years, and last year Saudi Arabia announced a $3 billion plan to provide the Lebanese army with French weapons.