MD-530F+ Attack Helicopters delivered to Lebanon
Lebanon has received six MD-530F+ helicopters, manufactured by MD Helicopters, during a ceremony attended by US Ambassador Dorothy C Shea.
Beirut initially ordered the six aircraft in December 2017, as part of a wider $120 million deal, and the MD-530s were contracted in October 2018.
At the time, it was reported that the LAF would receive six MD-530G, the newest addition to the MD Helicopters line of light scout attack platforms.
However, it appears Lebanon has instead received a new variant of the MD-530F. Moreover, MD Helicopters report training Lebanese pilots on the MD-530F in March 2021.
US Ambassador, Dorothy C Shea, commented on the new variant: ‘This helicopter is the first light attack helicopter of its kind to integrate APKWS missiles and live downlink of targeting data.’
This delivery represents US support for the Lebanese Armed Forces, last month, on 14 October, US Under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, announced the US is offering an extra $67 million in aid for the Lebanese Army, in addition to the $120 million that had already been committed.
This support comes at a crucial time, as recently Lebanon has seen sectarian violence in its capital, tensions raised with neighbouring states and an international travel ban.
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