Lebanese Air Force








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Please keep coming back regularly to read about news related to the Lebanese Air Force.








For the first time since August 1983, two Hawker Hunter jets of the Lebanese Air Force land at the Beirut AFB.



After meeting his Lebanese counterpart Elias el-Murr, visiting Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa anounces that Italy will provide the Lebanese army with aircraft spare parts.  It is worth mentioning that the only Italian type in the Lebanese Air Force inventory are a number of Agusta-Bell 212 helicopters stored since the mid-90s. 



There are renewed and fresh efforts between the UAE and Lebanon for the acquisition of a number of advanced jet trainers.  Attempts made earlier in 2008 for several BAe Hawk trainers from the UAE have failed for several non-convincing reasons.



The US is promising to deliver a single Cessna 208 Caravan, armed with Hellfire missiles to the Lebanese Air Force in 2009 with further 2 of the same type planned to follow in 2010.



Defense Minister Elias el-Murr:  Pilots from the helicopter force of the Lebanese Air Force will be transferred to fixed wing jet training, specifically to train on the MiG-29 which is expected to be delivered within 8 months.



Defense Minister Elias el-Murr:  The Lebanese Air Force will be equipped with Russian made helicopters as part of fleet modernization and standardization.



Defense Minister Elias el-Murr anounces from Moscow that Russia has agreed to deliver 10 MiG-29 multi-role fighter jets to the Lebanese Air Force. 



The US will be offering the Lebanese Air Force the Cessna 208 propeller aircraft armed with Hellfire missiles and fitted with reconaissance cameras.



The Kuwait based Alseyassah quoting anonynous sources, reports Russias willingness to provide Lebanon with attack helicopters and MiG-29 jet fighters.

Full article in Arabic can be found here.


New, fresh and exclusive photos of the Lebanese AF Hawker Hunter jets now added here.



For the first time since the early 90s, 2 Hawker Hunter jets of the Lebanese Air Force take part in the Independence Day military parade making 3 passes over Martyr Square.  The air force also flies 8 UH-1H, 3 Raven II and 3 Gazelle helicopters during the parade in a special Cedar formation.


Fresh photos of the Hawker Hunter jets (November 20, 2008) added on History Page 3.



Lebanese Air Force Hawker Hunter jets make low fly passes over the capital Beirut and the southern coastline to the city of Sidon.



For the first time since 1994, a Lebanese Air Force Hawker Hunter jet has flown on a routine training mission from the Rayak base, making the type officially active again and restoring the fixed wing capability of the air force.



In a televised interview, interior minister Ziad Baroud confirmed reports concerning the near purchase of 2 firefighting helicopters which will be operated by the Lebanese Air Force.  Type and country of origin of the helicopters were not mentioned.



Lebanese and US officials have reached an agreement to supply the Lebanese Air Force with AH-1 Cobra gunship helicopters.  A US military delegation is expected to visit Beirut soon to finalize the deal.

According to initial reports, the helicopters will fly to Lebanon via Jordan.



During his visit to the US, President Suleiman will be seeking a deal for helicopter gunships, possibly AH-1 Cobras or a similar type, and push for approval from Washington for a deal for a number of US made jet fighters from a second party.



According to the local media, the US is expressing willingness in supplying the air force with a number of AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

It is worth mentioning that, the Lebanese Air Force first showed interest in the AH-1 helicopter in 1983 and later in early 2006.



A Lebanese Air Force helicopter has made an emergency landing after coming under fire from an unknown ground source over Tilal Sijud in Nabatieh.  Lieutenant pilot Samer Hanna has been reportedly killed in the incident and 3 others in the helicopter have been wounded..



A decision has been made to refurbish a number of existing Agusta Bell 212 utility helicopters.  The air force hopes that up to 5 of the type can be put into service once again.

The deal also includes the repair of  a number of grounded Bell UH-1H utility helicopters for the past 2 or 3 years.



For the first time since 1993, the Lebanese Air Force will start recruiting and training pilots for fixed wing aircraft.  Because of lack of local expertees and equipment, the cadets who will be devided into small groups, will continue their basic and advanced trainings in the UAE, Egypt and Jordan and will form the core of the fighter pilots of the future.  Other friendly Arab states may later contribute to the program.



The Lebanese Air Force will soon be recomissioning the 3 surviving Scottish Aviation Bulldogs basic trainers into active service.



Specialists from IAR will soon be conducting checks and feasibility studies on existing 2 or 3 Lebanese Air Force Puma helicopters for the purpose of overhauling these helicopters back into active service. 



The acquisition of Hawk trainer jets from the UAE has been dropped by the air force after studies that were carried out in the past few months.  Other trainer jets are currently beeing considered which meet the air force's future plans better.



As-Safir daily reports that Lebanon will soon purchase 2 Kamov Ka-32 Russian made helicopters.  The interior ministry plans to raise funds to cover the cost of the firefighting helicopters which have proved their worth in the past few days in their operations in Lebanon. 

Link to story (Arabic)



A Kamov Ka-32A dual rotor helicopter has arrived at the Beirut Air Force Base on lease, which will be used for firefighting missions alongside Lebanese Air Force UH-1H Hueys.



The Kamov Ka-32 en route to Kartaba on August 4, 2008

Photo copyright by Vatche Mitilian




Majority leader MP Saad Hariri has offered the cost of leasing 2 firefighting helicopters from Cyprus for a 3 months period to the Higher Relief Council. 



An Agusta Westland 139 helicopter was gifted by Qatar to Lebanon which will serve as the Presidential helicopter.  The VIP configured Agusta 139 will be operated by the Lebanese Air Force.



Al Shiraah weekly reports of talks between Lebanese and US military officials for possible US made fighters for the air force.  The report could not be independently verified.



A Lebanese Air Force Gazelle helicopter has made a forced landing near Taybe (Baalbek) in the Bekaa Valley injuring two of its pilots.  The helicopter, which was on a routine training mission, has been burnt and written off.  Injuries of the pilots are reportedly non life threatening and the accident has been quoted to technical difficulties.



Al Manar TV:  For the first time since the May 17 agreement in 1983, the US is willing to provide the Lebanese Air Force with attack helicopters.  So far, the US has only supplied unarmed utility helicopters to the air force.



The Hawker Hunter is expected to fly again very soon as the Martin Baker ejection seat cartridges have been made available.



The UAE has agreed to donate a number of  Hawk jets to the Lebanese Air Force.



During a surprise visit to Beirut, U.S. Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Eric Edelman told reporters that the US will supply the Lebanese Air Force a number of utility helicopters. No mention was made about the number and type of the helicopters.
The stratement was made after the US delegation had discussions with Lebanese officials, including President Sleiman, Defence minister Murr and acting army commander Brigadier el-Masri, involving an aid package to the Lebanese Army.
In response to a question about the possibility of "aeroplanes" (meaning fighters or jets) for the air force, he stressed that discussions didn't involve such equipment.


The UAE has offered trainings for Lebanese pilot on its Hawk jets for free.  Also, the Lebanese Air Force is hopeful for former Saudi Arabian or Jordanian F-5 E/Fs.

The Lebanese media reacts negatively about the possible transfer of old TA-3 jet trainers to the Lebanese Air Force.

US sources tell DefenseNews.com that they are willing to provide 3 TA-3 Skyworrier or TA-4J Skyhawk trainers to the Lebanese Air Force to be followed by another 2 or 3 of the same type.

Lebanese military sources tell news media about intentions of purchasing 3 to 6 jet fighters or jet trainers for the ground attack role, as well as the purchase of 6 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

The battle of Nahr e-Bared is concluded after 4 months of bloody battles between the Lebanese Army and the Fateh el-Islam militants.  The Lebanese Air Force plays a decisive role in defeating the uprising.

News are being surfaced of the re-introduction of the Hawker Hunter jets into service to take part in bombing missions of Fath el-Islam positions in the Nahr el-Bared camp.

Bell 205 UH-1H helicopters of the air force are taking part in combat for the first time by dropping heavy 250 kg bombs towards militant fortifications in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp.  It is also reported that 454 kg bombs are also being used in the bombing missions.

Lebanese Air Force helicopters (believed to be Gazelles) have reportedly fired rockets in support of the ground troops at militant positions in the Naher el-Bared refugee camp.