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Lebanon receives 3rd AC-208B Combat Caravan from United States

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World Defense & Security News - Lebanon
 
 
Lebanon receives 3rd AC-208B Combat Caravan from United States
 
United States gave a third AC-208B Combat Caravan light combat aircraft to Lebanon in order to help the Middle Eastern country in its fight against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's Syrian branch in border areas, the US embassy in Beirut announced.
     
Lebano receives 3rd AC 208B Combat Caravan from United States 640 001Lebanon received today a 3rd AC-208B Combat Caravan aircraft from United States
(Credit: US Embassy in Beirut)
     
U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard said during the handover ceremony at Beirut's international airport on Monday that Washington "is proud" to handover the aircraft, the third in the Lebanese army's air force.

According to the U.S. Embassy, the Cessna is equipped with Hellfire missiles and day- and night-targeting systems. The Embassy added the aircraft is part of a "total package" that includes maintenance support and training with a combined value of about $30 million.

Orbital ATK won a $26Mn contract in May 2015 for the delivery of one commercial-off-the-shelf Cessna 208B Caravan. According to the US-based company, modification of the 208B Caravan includes an AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system, Terma aircraft survivability equipment suite missile warning system, broadcast microwave system data link system, surveillance tracking and recording system mission processor unit obsolescence re-design and hard points on each wing capable of carrying and employing AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles.

Lebanon is the second acknowledged customer for ATK's AC-208. The Iraqi air force has received 11 C-208 turboprops modified by ATK. Three serve as reconnaissance aircraft and five are assigned as trainers, and three other AC-208Bs are armed.

Besides the Combat Caravans, the tiny Lebanese Air Force currently operates an array of helicopters including SA 330 Puma, SA342 Gazelle, UH-1H Iroquois and Huey 2 rotorcraft.