RAFOHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:45 pm

Lebanese Air Force

Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:26 am

Does anyone know if any of the few remaining Lebanese Hawker Hunters, or indeed any aircraft, survived this latest round of bombing of the airfields before the UN ceasefire?
 
MigFan
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:50 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:38 am

My bet is that they are either destroyed or grounded due to lack of spares. The pilots may also be suffering from lack of hours. I know that the Lebanese AF bought a few Robinson R44s last year.

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
LY744
Posts: 5185
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 11:55 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:17 am

AFAIK the Lebanese Air Force consists of a number of Hueys. I don't believe those were damaged in the recent conflict.


LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:19 pm

The Hunters were grounded at least a decade ago. Some were sold for parts.

The Mirage IIIs were sold to Pakistan in 2000.

Israel didn't target any of the Hueys, which are the only remaining operational equipment of the AF.

In conclusion, Syria (not Israel) did a great job in destroying the Air Force.
 
RAFOHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:45 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:24 am

Thanks all!

The Hunters were grounded at least a decade ago. Some were sold for parts.

OD720 - Any idea which Hunters were sold for parts and where or who they were sold to?

I put together a listing of the aircraft I am trying to track down;

L-170 ex-XE598. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-171 ex-XF461 Supplied to Lebanon under US Offshore Payment
L-172 ex-XE534. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-174 ex-XG167 Supplied to Lebanon under US Offshore Payment
L-175 ex-XF495 Supplied to Lebanon under US Offshore Payment
L-176 ex-IF-86. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-177 ex-IF-96. Converted to Lebanese FGA
L-178 ex-IF-129. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-179 ex-IF-101 Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-180 ex-WW598 Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-181 ex-XF457 Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-182 ex-WW594 Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-183 ex-XF430 Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-184 ex-XJ644 Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.
L-185 ex-XJ640 Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.

Does anyone have any information on these Hunters?

David J. Griffin [email protected]

[Edited 2006-08-30 23:28:03]
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:02 pm

Quoting RAFOHunter (Reply 4):
OD720 - Any idea which Hunters were sold for parts and where or who they were sold to?

I have no idea. I have got the info some time ago through former pilots. I don't know how many are still stored at the Rayak AF Base.

Though your list looks very interesting.

From memory, in 1983, there were about 6 operational Hunters with the AF but later, they bought a small number as well. A friend then told me that they were bought from Zimbabwe. Is this true?
 
RAFOHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:45 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:26 pm

Here's the full listing - with corrected serials - from my book on the Hunter - "Hawker Hunter Serials 1951 to 2006" available from http://www.lulu.com/content/383300.

You will see that none of the aircraft came from Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. It seems to be an ever repeated urban myth that Rhodesia and Oman were suppliers of Hunters to many countries in the middle east and africa. Neither were, in fact they were the recipients of others countries Hunters.

LEBANON
AL QUWWAT AL JAWWIYA AL LUBNANLY
FORCE AERIENNE LIBANAISE


The Lebanese Air Force was initially supplied with 6 Hawker Hunter F.Mk.6’s from RAF stocks held in MU’s during 1958 and 1959, and these were paid for with US funds in the US Offshore Payment deal. The HSA demonstrator aircraft, G-APUX which was loaned to Iraq also was sub-leased to Lebanon and Jordan between 05-63 and 1965. Lebanese pilots were sent to Chivenor for training where they proved to be as good as the RAF pilots. The early Hunters were identifiable by their raked Lebanese flag fin insignia; later aircraft carried the horizontal flags.

Between 1965 and 1966, Lebanon received 3 T.Mk.66C’s and 4 FGA Mk.70’s converted from Belgian Aircraft, of these, 5 aircraft were lost during training. On the morning of June 5th 1967 a Lebanese Hunter was shot down by an Israeli Mirage near the Lebanon/Israel border.

A further 6 FGA Mk.70’s were ordered in 1975 from RAF stocks. 3 were delivered to Lebanon in early 1976 but the other three were delayed until after the civil war in Lebanon and were eventually delivered in 12-77.

On September 17th 1983, the Lebanese Hunters attacked Druze positions and were surprised with heavy defenses. One Hunter was shot down, the pilot managed to eject and was rescued from the sea by a US Navy SH-3D helicopter. A further Hunter was badly damaged and made a forced landing at the satellite base at Biblos. A third Hunter flew straight to Akrotiri in Cyprus where he later applied for political asylum. No record can be found of the disposition of the Hunter, although it is probable that it was handed back to Lebanon.

Examining satellite photographs of Lebanese air bases shows that there are few, if any, operational bases left untouched by at least some marks of conflict. In none of the photographs can any Hunters be seen, however if they are in storage they would be under cover, most likely in a hangar at Rayak AB. In view also of the conflict with Israel occurring in July 2006, it is unlikely that any information will be forthcoming. It remains to be seen, therefore, if any Hunters will emerge after all the conflict is finally over; but seems increasingly unlikely at this point. It is equally unlikely that any Hunters possibly still held in store could be used again. Long periods of storage require long periods of maintenance and rebuilding.

Hawker Hunter T.Mk.66A
567 ex-G-APUX Sub-leased to Lebanese Air Force by Iraq for training during 1964. Returned to HAL.

Hawker Lebanese Hunter T.Mk. 66C
Conversion order for three ex-Belgian Hunter F Mk. 6 aircraft to be Converted to two seat trainer standard (similar to that of the Indian T.Mk. 66) by Hawker Siddeley Aviation under Contract No.HSA/64/L/059 for delivery between 11-65 and 07-66.
See under;

Belgian Hunter Mk. 6s

L-280 ex-IF-34 Purchased by HSA. Converted to T.Mk.66C Delivered 27-07-66. W/O.
L-281 ex-IF- 60 Purchased by HSA. Converted to T.Mk.66C Delivered 15-11-65. W/O.
L-282 ex-IF-112 Purchased by HSA as G-9-119. Converted to T.Mk.66C Delivered 23-12-65. W/O.

Hawker Lebanese Hunter FGA Mk. 70
HSA supplied 5 F.Mk.6’s from former RAF stocks to Lebanon in 1958 as part of the US Offshore Payment deal and a further F.Mk.6 in 1962.

L-170 ex-XE598. Cen. Fuse. C/N 41H-679956. ff 16-4-56. David Lockspeiser. Delivered 11-5-56, A&AEE. Trials with gun-blast deflectors. Became Lebanese F Mk.6, 31-10-58.
L-171 ex-XF461 No.5MU, Kemble. Supplied to Lebanon in 1958 under US Offshore Payment.
L-172 ex-XE534. Cen. Fuse. C/N 41H-679909. ff 12-1-56. Duncan Simpson. Delivered 4-2-56, No.5MU, Kemble. Converted to Lebanese F.Mk.6, 22-5-62.
L-173 ex-XF377 CA aircraft, AWA, Bitteswell, 1956-57. Supplied to Lebanon in 1958 under US Offshore Payment. Crashed, on Bekka Plain while flying from Rayak, Lebanon; pilot ejected but killed. W/O, 26-3-62
L-174 ex-XG167 Delivered 18-2-57, No.5MU, Kemble. No.19 Sqn.,('F'). Supplied to Lebanon 13-10-58.
L-175 ex-XF495 No.5MU, Kemble. Supplied to Lebanon, 13-10-58 under US Offshore Payment.

Conversion order for four ex-Belgian Hunter F.Mk.6s to be refurbished and brought to full FGA Mk. 9 standard by HSA under Contract No.HSA/64/L/059, for delivery to Lebanon between 09-65 and 09-66.
See under;

Belgian Hunter F Mk. 6s

L-176 ex-IF-86. Purchased by HSA, 6-10-64, as G-9-110.Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 14-9-66.
L-177 ex-IF-96. Purchased by HSA, 7-10-64, as G-9-121. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 14-9-65.
L-178 ex-IF-129. Purchased by HSA, 10-11-64, as G-9-102. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 15-11-65.
L-179 ex-IF-101 Purchased by HSA as G-9-114. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70.

RAF F.Mk.6’s

L-280 ex-WW598 Purchased by HSA, as G-9-424. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 08-12-75.
L-281 ex-XF457 Purchased by HSA, as G-9-422. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 08-12-75.
L-282 ex-WW594 Purchased by HSA, as G-9-423. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 08-12-75.
L-283 ex-XF430 Purchased by HSA, as G-9-426. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 17-05-77
L-284 ex-XJ644 Purchased by HSA, as G-9-427. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 17-05-77.
L-285 ex-XJ640 Purchased by HSA, as G-9-425. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 01-06-77.

David
 
bennett123
Posts: 9117
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:19 pm

There is no record of a Lebanese Hunter in Wrecks & Relics, which suggests that it was returned.

The good relations between Lebanon and the US/UK at that time supports this.
 
djw030468
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:39 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:40 pm

Quoting OD720 (Reply 3):

Not to mention, everything else.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:29 pm

I've been told by a member here that he saw 2 Hunters in good condition (whatever that means) in one of the hangars at the Rayaq base during a visit back in March of this year.
 
RAFOHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:45 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:37 pm

Great news to hear that there are still some left. I'm going to have to revise my entry in the book.

I don't suppose that he had any serial numbers did he?

Are things getting any better in Beirut?
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:12 pm

I don't think that he has the serial numbers.

How many should there still be according to your census?

About the Zimbabwe rumour, I heard this back in 1983! We were 15 year olds then and a friend of mine (also 15 at the time) knew people in the air force and he passed me this info. Neither me, nor him were aware that Zimbabwe also operated Hunters. What I mean is that there could have been some truth in it.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:21 pm

I believe this photo was taken during the 80s.



This is the "sattelite base in Byblos" as you refer to. It was actually called the Halat strip which served as a base for the Hunters during the 80s. It was part of the high way in Byblos and developed by the help of the US, for the Hunters to operate in safety. The Beirut AF base was under the direct fire of the Druze militias.

In this photo, the Hunter is carrying rocket pods. 1000 and 500 lb retarded bombs were also used.
 
RAFOHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:45 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:04 am

A total of 19 Hunters were acquired plus one loaner (G-APUX).

Attrition details are very sketchy on Lebanese Hunters. Some sources say that of the initial 9 aircraft, 5 were lost in training accidents. We have record on one of the later crashes, L.173 and know that at least two were shot down and one other badly damaged. That doesn't really help with the census as that still leaves 11 aircraft!

There were reports in the 90's that there were "at least 6 Hunters still flying" but this was unconfirmed.

Other reports that I have heard place the survivors at 3 stored aircraft with Rayak being mentioned repeatedly as the location.

As there are only about 800 regular Air Force personel now, surely there must be someone who knows details.

I try to correspond directly with Air Forces, most times without success unfortunately, but in this case I am sure that the Air Force commanders have more important tasks at hand for now.

David
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:54 pm

I will try to find former Hunter pilots or someone of some authority in the Air Force to get some info. I can't tell how successful I'll be.

The brother of a colleague is currently a Huey pilot in the AF. I'll see if this link can be helpful as well.
 
RAFOHunter
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:45 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:32 am

OD720

Thanks, that would be awesome!
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:56 am

I did manage to get hold of a retired Hunter pilot. We did have a very nice chat and was able to get a few things that you may find helpful.

Between 1978-1983, there were 10 Hunters flying.
Based on your list, these were the ones we found in his log book.

L-271 or L-171 according to your records. There were no Hunters in his log book with L-1** registrations and all appear L-2**
L-275
L-276
L-280
L-281
L-282
L-284
L-285
L-286 (T.66)
L-287 (T.66)

It seems that L-283 (ex-XF430) was probably lost right after delivery. It never appears in his log book.
L-281 was probably the one shot over the Shouf mountains in September 1983. This one's also missing in his log book after that date.

The Hunter that flew to Akrotiri was the one which was "badly damaged". Both the pilot and the Hunter (after repairs) were returned back to Lebanon. It was hit and the front gear (nose wheel) didn't deploy so it was flown to Cyprus, as advised by the Brits and Americans, since the short rwy at Byblos (Halate) could have damaged the aircraft beyond repairs.

Also, L-271, L-275 and L-276 were not used regularly for the same reason, the short rwy at Halate (Byblos), since they didn't have the tail chute compared to the other models.

Another Hunter was lost in 1989 over Batrun. The pilot ejected safely. We talked to him over the phone as well and he thought it was L-285 but was not sure. He says it may have been L-280.

When they were finally grounded in the early 90s, there were a total of 8 surviving Hunters. He believes all are stored at the Rayak base.

He noted that during the 1983-84 campaign, the Hunters (or the LAF) were ineffective mainly due to poor planning. They mainly used the Aden canons, 68 mm rocket pods with a mixed anti-armour and conventional ammunitions, and very very rarely, they used a few 500 lb dumb bombs.

Maybe in the future I can get more, but this is all for the time being.

Regards.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:46 am

Hello to all, I found your correspondence on the Lebanese Airforce and its Hunters most interesting. I am also a keen researcher on the LAF and its history, and I would be very grateful for any further info that anyone might have on that subject. Also, if anyone has photos of LAF aircraft through its history. I would be most g rateful to be able to have alook at.On the subject of the Hunters , does anyone have info on thr camouflage scheme in the 60s and early 70s, and which included red tailplanes and noses? Does anyone have photos of any LAF Hunters in that colour scheme, which was also shared during the same period by a number of Jordanian and Iraqi Hunters? Also, I would like to point out that LAF Hunter T66C serial no. L282 was donated to the Royal Jordanian AF in 1968, leaving the LAF with 2 T66Cs which remained in service till all Hunters were placed in storage in the early 90s.They were originall registered L280 and L281, but were reserialized in the late 70s as L286 and L287.The same happened with the surviving Hunter F6 and FGA70 from the late 50s and early 60s ,which used to be registered L170 onwards.They wre also renumbered in the late 70s as L270 onwards.This followed the delivery in 1976/77 of the 6 FGA70As, which were numbered L280 to L 285.If anyone has further info and/or pics on this PLS let me know.
 
User avatar
RJAF
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:00 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:01 pm

As I see quite a few Hunter fans on this post, I though you'd enjoy an RJAF Hunter photo (I beleive they were escorting HM late King Hussein's Caravelle aircraft in the mid sixties).
Big version: Width: 1327 Height: 983 File size: 486kb
Chance favors the prepared mind
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:38 pm

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 17):
On the subject of the Hunters , does anyone have info on thr camouflage scheme in the 60s and early 70s, and which included red tailplanes and noses?

You probably mean this one:



I haven't seen any Hunters in this scheme, the example is a Vampire.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:04 am

Hello to all , again . First, many thanks to the friends from Jordan and Lebanon for their replies and interesting photos. To my Lebanese friend , I would like to say that he is absolutely correct about the LAF Vampires. Indeed , there was a time when most LAF airplanes were sporting some form of colourful paint scheme ,which included red tails as well as red noses and wingtips. That applied even when the aircraft were camouflaged and included such types as the Chipmunk and T-6 Harvard trainers, the Vampire T55 and Fouga Magister armed trainers and, of course, the Hunters. This practie was followed throughout the 50s and 60s and up to at least the early 70s. I used to have colour photos of LAF Hunters painted that way, including F6, F70, and T66 , serial nos L171, L175, L176, L177, L178, and L179 single-seaters , and L280 two-seater all with red tails noses and wingtips ,and taken during that period. Also, I can still remember , as a kid, seeing LAF Hunters flying over Beirut and/or taking-off and landing at Beirut International Airport and the adjacent Airbase with that particular colour scheme up to the civil war in 1975 .Unfortunatly, I do not have those photos anymore, but I still have a few black and whites clearly showing the red tail/nose/wingtips and , of course, the standard grey/green camouflage. It seems certain that the LAF stopped using the red-colour treatment on its Hunter , and other types sometime in the mid or late 70s , and probably with the delivery of the 6 Hunter F70As in 76-77. As stated , these aircraft wre painted in the standard camouflage of grey/green with light grey under surfaces and the usual flag and rondels.Alsoof interest was the change in the serial numbers fromm L170-onwards to L270-onwards, and from white to black , similar to what the LAF had earlier adopted on its Mirage-3EL and BL fighters.
 
mig21umd
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:40 am

The other day I saw what looked like a Gazelle (helicopter) attacking Muslim militant positions. Just for the record it definitely was not a huey.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:51 pm

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 21):
The other day I saw what looked like a Gazelle (helicopter) attacking Muslim militant positions. Just for the record it definitely was not a huey.

The Gazelles (total of 9) were recieved a few months ago from the UAE and still have the yellow "desert" paint.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Berry Vissers - Aero Image



 
mig21umd
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:30 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:14 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 22):
The Gazelles (total of 9) were recieved a few months ago from the UAE and still have the yellow "desert" paint.

Thank you for the pictures.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:46 pm

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 20):
LAF airplanes were sporting some form of colourful paint scheme ,which included red tails as well as red noses and wingtips. That applied even when the aircraft were camouflaged and included



Quoting Hunterson (Reply 20):
LAF Hunters painted that way, including F6, F70, and T66 , serial nos L171, L175, L176, L177, L178, and L179 single-seaters , and L280 two-seater all with red tails noses and wingtips

Here's one I recently found:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/LBHunterTRed.jpg
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:29 am

Dear All,
Thanks so much for OD720 for the photo of LAF Hunter T 66L280 sporting the red nose and tail on its grey/green camouflage. I hope we can still get more of the same. Does 0D720 have any info on when that photo was taken ??
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:18 pm

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 25):
Does 0D720 have any info on when that photo was taken ??

Taking a wild guess while looking at some features of the photo like the background and specially the hangars, I would say prior to 1975. These hangars were modified for the 747 after MEA recieved them in 1975. In this photo taken at BEY, the hangars don't appear to be able to handle the 747. Also, 3 Hunters can be confirmed and all have the red tail meaning that at least 1 single seater had this feature as well.

I wish I could find more.

All the best.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:46 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 26):
. Also, 3 Hunters can be confirmed and all have the red tail meaning that at least 1 single seater had this feature as well.

Dear all,thanks to OD720 for his reply i agree with him on the MEA 747 hangers and certainly i also agree that the photo has takan sometime before 1975.
as for the LAF Hunters shown in the photo, I know for certain that not only the 2-seaters , but also the LAF single-seaters were at some stagfe painted with red tails, red noses, and red wingtips. Indeed, I believe all LAF available Hunters ,as well as the Vampire T55s and the T-6 Harvards in service were painted as such for aperiod sometime between the early 1960s and the mid 1970s. I used to have photo evidence in color of this showing Hunter F6 and Hunter F70 aircraft L171,L175,L176, L177, L178, and Hunter T66 L280 and L281 , all sporting that colour scheme . Those photos were all taken sometime between 1968 and 1975. Unfortunately, I lost those photos along the years,but I still have some BW ones which nevertheless still clearly show that particular paint pattern and they include Hunter F6/70 L1175/176/177/178,and Hunter T66 L280. I strongly believe that what happened was that the LAF Hunters which were still in service by 1975/76 were all repainted in the normal gray/green camouflage alongside the newly delivered Hunter F70As around that period. Also, all were reserialized as L270 onward, instead of the original L170 onward, with the remaining 2-seaters L280 and L281 becoming ,respectively, L286 and L287. I still very much hope we can get some more data, both info and photo, to confirm and add to the above With my thanks and regards again to OD720 and to all.
 
LY744
Posts: 5185
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 11:55 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:49 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 22):
Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 21):
The other day I saw what looked like a Gazelle (helicopter) attacking Muslim militant positions. Just for the record it definitely was not a huey.

The Gazelles (total of 9) were recieved a few months ago from the UAE and still have the yellow "desert" paint.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Berry Vissers - Aero Image




Did the Gazelles come with any weapons other than the machine gun pods? Also, are the MG pods .30 or .50 cal?


LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:51 am

Quoting LY744 (Reply 28):
Did the Gazelles come with any weapons other than the machine gun pods? Also, are the MG pods .30 or .50 cal?

The pods appear to be .30 but that's just from the photos I've seen.

They arrived with no weapons at all, not even this light machine gun. When war broke out on May, the UAE rushed weapons for the Gazelles but it was not disclosed what kinds of arms were sent. One thing for sure is that the HOT missiles were never delivered and won't in the future (based on media reports).

They are armed with the unguided rocket pods as well but I tried to find out if these were also recently supplied or came from old Lebanese Air Force stocks but with no success. One paper recently reported that they worked miracles to better arm the Gazelles and that's where I became suspicious that they may be using their old Gazelle stocks. Just a guess on my side.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:35 am

Hello to all.
In fact , the Lebanese Air Force recieved 12 Mirage-3 aircraft from France during 1967-1968. They comprised 10 Mirage-3EL single-seaters , and 2 Mirage-3DL (not BL as commonly believed, although the two versions are virtually the same) 2-seaters. The LAF serialized its Mirages from L-501 to L-512. The 2-seaters were L-511 and L-512.This particular aircraft crashed soon after (sometime in the late 60s or early 70s) while on aroutine training flight and the LAF was left with 11 aircraft , 10 single-seaters and 1 two-seater(L-511). They remained in active operational service during the 70s until the early 80s ,when theh were placed in storage due to the raging civil war in the country at the time. In fact , and contrary to the wide spread belief , the LAF Mirages did actually operate in anger along side the Hunters in the fighting between the Lebanese Army and the PLO which erupted briefly inBeirut in May 1973. It is also widelly believed that the LAF lost another Mirage in an accident . This is thought to have occured sometime in the 1970s, but no details are available other than that it was a single-seater -3EL , but its serial no. is unknown. Eventually ,the LAF was left with a total of 10 Mirages ( 9 -EL and 1 -DL) and all kept in storage .During the 1990s , and after the end of the countrys civil war, the then new Lebanese government exlored various possible plans to reactivate them and put them back in operational service, but none were adopted for mainly economic ,but also political reasons(the Syrians who were at the time occupying the country would not allow it) .Finally, an agreement was reached to sell the aircraft to Pakistan which still operates alarge fleet of Mirage-3E/D/5 aircaft until this day.The Lebanese Mirages were deliverd to Pakistan in the late 1990s.Another interesting point is that in one of the very last available photos of the LAF Mirages , taken probably sometime in the mid 1980s when they were stored at Kolayaat Air Base in North Lebanon, several examples were clearly seen in remarkably good condition and quite surprisingly carrying new serial nos. in L-400 range instead of their usual L-500. Aircaft seen included L-405,L-406,L408,L-410,and the 2-seater L-411.I hope some one might have some more data on this ,or some other photo evidence to verify it .
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:42 pm

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 30):
several examples were clearly seen in remarkably good condition and quite surprisingly carrying new serial nos. in L-400 range instead of their usual L-500

Just checked this info with a friend and it's true. Good observation on your side!

In the Lebanese Air Force registrations, the first number indicates the squadron number. So the Mirages made the 5th squadron and then at some point, they were re-assigned to the 4th.

I've seen pictures of these in Pakistan AF service. They were believed to be in great condition. Some frames even had very low hours on them but as you said, politics stood on their way. I can't tell or imagine what sort of threat a dozen of old Mirages would have caused to any of our neighbors. In 2007, this has still not changed and there is no indication that it will in the next few years. I also really doubt that we have any "surviving" jet pilots. All probably have retired by now.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:48 am

Dear OD720, thank you for your kind comments re the LAF Mirages . I wander if you are aware that also the Lebanese Fouga Magisters underwent a similar process of change of serials during their service life. They were first registered as L-440 onwards, then changed to L-400 onwards, and finally serialsed as L-600 onwards .I believe that also happened sometime during the 1980s , when they were repainted in the standard LAF grey/green camouflage instead of the previous silver metallic, and re-serialised L-600 to L-608 . I also wander if you happen to have , or to know of any more photos of those LAF red-tailed Hunters , similar to that beautiful shot of L-280 which you posted recently , as well as any photos of the L-400 registered Mirages?
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:12 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 31):
I also really doubt that we have any "surviving" jet pilots.

To OD720,
One more point i hope you are wrong with your pesimism about the future, I am confident that Lebanon will be back and that we will have a new generation of pilots and patriots. I'm also confident that it will happen before the next few years, it only takes us Lebanese to stand together to make it happen.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:50 pm

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 32):
I wander if you happen to have , or to know of any more photos of those LAF red-tailed Hunters , similar to that beautiful shot of L-280 which you posted recently

That was the only one I found on the net. If you have some, please email it to me.

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 30):
in one of the very last available photos of the LAF Mirages , taken probably sometime in the mid 1980s when they were stored at Kolayaat Air Base in North Lebanon, several examples were clearly seen in remarkably good condition and quite surprisingly carrying new serial nos.

Is this the photo you're referring to?

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/mirage.jpg

Here are a few photos I have:




http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/MirageIIIEL.jpg


Here's a Hunter, probably prior to delivery in 1977:




A Bulldog at BEY AF base, you can see a Fouga and a Hunter behind it. Photo must date around 1982.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/L1461983.jpg
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:29 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 34):
Is this the photo you're referring to?

Big version: Width: 335 Height: 200 File size: 40kb
Big version: Width: 335 Height: 200 File size: 11kb
Big version: Width: 335 Height: 200 File size: 13kb


Greetings and many thanks for your photos, which i found most interesting. I am sending you some photos which i have managed to collect including one of a Hunter F-7OA reg:L281, Fouga reg:L609 and a Mirage 3EL reg:L504. I think they were taken sometime in the 80's except the Mirage which obviously dates back to the 70's.They used to be on the Lebanese Army official website, but for some reason they were removed a couple of years ago. As for the Mirage photo that you posted in the Hangar it is very similar to the one i mentioned but not the same. It was obviously taken in the same Hanagr and around the same time as the one i referred to, but that one was in colour and also showed a couple of chimpmunk trainers including reg:L102. The number of Mirages that could be seen in that picture was 9 and included the serials i referred to in one of my earlier postings. As for the Hunters with the red tails i wish i has some more in colour. in fact i have been looking for photos of them for many years now with no success. I still have a couple in black and white which show the red tails and noses as different from the camoflogue but i still remember that som time in the early 70's the Lebanese ministry of defence issues a calendar which included a fanastic picture in full color of 4 Hunters flying in close formation over the Beka'a valley sporting that particular colour scheme and serialised L171, L175, L176 and L178. I lost that calendar many years ago with the photos in contained and how i wish i could find it again.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:18 pm

Do you know if the Lebanese Fouga's could be armed? I have never seen them carrying any type of weapons.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:42 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 36):
Do you know if the Lebanese Fouga's could be armed? I have never seen them carrying any type of weapons.

Greetings
I've never seen a picture of a Lebanese Air Force Fouga Magister carrying weapons. But I know for certain that their mission role was always as trainers,including weapons training with a secondary light attack role. In fact the Fougas were used in combat on a few occasions during the civil war in the 80's along side the Hunters in recce and ground attack missions in the Shouf Mountains. Their armement was believed to include 7.62 mm machine guns, 68 mm SNEB rocket launchers (7 barrel) as well as 50 kg bombs. I wish we coud find any pictures of the Fouga's iun this configuration im sure there must be some somewhere. I hope you found the photos that i posted in one of my earier posts interesting i would like your comments about them.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:03 pm

They are very interesting indeed! Thanks for posting them.

I think the Mirage photo dates back to 1968 in France prior to delivery.

As for the Fougas, I'm not sure that they were used in the battles of 1983 you're referring to. The Hunters were used for sure and quite unsuccessfully, mostly due to poor planning and lack of inteligence. During this period, one of the Bulldogs was shot down as well.

Regards.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:49 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 38):
think the Mirage photo dates back to 1968 in France prior to delivery.

As for the Fougas, I'm not sure that they were used in the battles of 1983 you're referring to. The Hunters were used for sure and quite unsuccessfully, mostly due to poor planning and lack of inteligence. During this period, one of the Bulldogs was shot down as well.

Dear OD720,
You are absolutely right about the operational use of the Hunters in 1983, and also about the loss of one of the Bulldogs during that unfortunate period of our history. I also agree with you about the date of the Mirage photo which ibelieve was one of a series of pictures taken of LAF Mirage-3EL no. L-504 in France before it was delivered to the LAF in 1968.
As for the Fougas, I am reasonably certain of the info which I obtained some years ago from reliable sources that they were actually used operationally on a couple of occasions and that part of their mission in the LAF was in the armed trainer/light attack/recce role, similar to the Harvards which they replaced in the mid and late 1960s. I wonder if you know anyone who can either confirm or correct this info ?
Also, according to my data, the LAF still had in storage , at least until 2000 ,when the Mirages were sold to Pakistan, the following fixed - wing aircraft:
- Between 6-8 Hunters , including at least 1 two-seater, probably L-287(Ex. L-281).
-Between 6-8 Fougas .
-Between 4-5 Bulldogs .
-1 Dove (L-110) .
It was believed at the time that most ,if not all, of those planes were still air worthy including the Dove , which was delivered in 1950!
This was also in addition to the many helicopters ( Pumas/ AB-212s/ Gazelles/ Allouette-2s/ Alouette-3s) which were stored , and were in various conditions awaiting repairs and spare parts.
I wonder if you have any data to either confirm or correct this data?
Also, is there any reliable info that you know of about exactly how many helicopters were lost by the LAF during the Civil War, through accidents, action, sabotage or bombardment? And what was the condition of the remaining helicopters in storage?
Also, on a related matter, it is known that back in the 60s and 70s some of the Allouettes were armed with SS-11 ATGWs, and 20mm. cannon. It is also knwn that the original 8 Gazelles delivered to the LAF in 2 batches in the 80s were armed with 20mm. cannon, 68mm. SNEB rocket launchers and 12.7mm.(.50cal) heavy machine guns. Were they ever equipped with HOT ATGWs? And are any of them operational now alongside the 9 Gazelles obtained from the UAE recently? As for the gunods seen on these Gazelles, are they somekind of an improvised addition devised by the LAF, or acquired with the hcps from the UAE, or part of the original armament of the LAF Gazelles? And are they 20mm. guns or 12.7mm.(.50cal.) machine guns? They seem to be rather too big to be just 7.62mm.(.303cal.)to me, but i could be wrong?
Finally, are you aware of any flying operations using fixed-wing aircraft by the LAF at present , even only for training and/or to keep up flying hours...etc.? or are the only operational equipment of the LAF at the moment the US-supplied Bell-205s( UH-1H Huey0 , and the UAE-supplied Gazelles? and are there any plans, as far as you know , to refurbish and operate again any of the stored aircraft and helicopters in the LAF inventory? Please advise.
With regards and thanks.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:33 pm

Just wanted to thank you for all the info you have provided so far.

I will answer some of your questions from "unofficial" sources:

The Gazelles that the AF recieved in the 80s are said to have suffered severe damages (beyond repair) during the fightings in east Beirut in 1990 between teh army and the Leb Forces militias. The helicopters were based in the Jounieh stadium and Adma and were destroyed on the ground. The LF militias feared that they may be used in the fightings.

The Pumas and AB212s suffered similar fates and most are believed to have been destroyed. I've heard somewhere that there may still be 2 Pumas with little damage stored somewhere. Moreover, some info has surfaced recently about 4 AB212s to be repaired and made airworthy.

Currently the AF has 23 UH-1, 9 Gazelles and 4 Raven R44s.

There are no known trainings on any fixed wing aircraft.

Regards.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:23 am

Dear OD720,
Many thanks again for all the info you provided in your reply.
So what happened to the stored aircraft/helicopters which were still flyable such as the Hunters/Fougas/Bulldogs/Allouettes?
Are there any indications about their current status, ie. are they still in store, or have they been sold , or scrapped etc.?
And, by the way , are the UH-1Hs armed at all? I read recently that two of them flew to Cyprus on a mission to help our Cypriot friends in fighting a forest fire, which I thought was quite nice.
Also, by the way , do you know if the R-44s have been given LAF serials, or Lebanese civil registrations?
Finally, is there any way , as far as you know, of obtaining more old photos of LAF aircraft ,such as Hunters/Vampires/Fougas/Allouettes...etc, is there an archive available to the public ,even for a price, or perhaps some private collections?
I am really interested in collating a pictorial album on the history of the LAF for my private use , and I am sure I can use all the help I can get
With my thanks and greetings once again
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:24 pm

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 41):
So what happened to the stored aircraft/helicopters which were still flyable such as the Hunters/Fougas/Bulldogs/Allouettes?

These aircraft simply got old with time and were retired accordingly.

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 41):
do you know if the R-44s have been given LAF serials

These are Lebanese Air Force helicopters and accordingly must be registred with the AF.



Quoting Hunterson (Reply 41):
are the UH-1Hs armed at all?

These actually came with weapons ability disabled. As I understand, they can not be armed even the AF wanted to, unless they engineer it.



The 2 above photos are frome Scramble.nl
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:43 am

Dear OD720,
Thanks for your most recent reply and the posted photos. I thought you might be interested to know that whille going through the entry on the Lebanese Air Force ,on the Lebanese Army official website , and interestingly it actually states that the UH-1Hs delivered from the US can be armed for the ground attachethk and anti-armour role. Unfortunately , however, it does not mention what types of weapons the hcps can carry, or whether the LAF has ever used them in thet role. It was also quite intersting to note that in the same entry , there was a photo of one of the original LAF Gazelles from the 1980s equipped with 4 launch tubes for HOT ATGWs.But I have no idea if those missiles ever actually entered LAF service or whether they were ever used operationally on the Gazelles during the fighting in the 80s.Maybe you might have some info on these tow points?
On another note, I am strll hopefull that you might be able to help me with my search for old photos of LAF aircraft as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, or indeed if you know of any one else who can?
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:50 am

Hello to all. After afew days away on holiday , it is good to be back. Just aquick update on the LAF Gazelles .The Lebanese Army made an announcement today(9/8/07) tjat its Gazelle armed helicopters have been in action again in the battles against Islamist militants held up in the Nahr El Bared Palestinian refugee camp in the north of the country. Eye witnesses and journalists reported that the helicopters made several attacks against targets in the camp over aperiod of several hours , including at night. Also of interest were the reports that the Gazelles used in these missions were equipped for the first time with missiles and/or rockets , and not only with machine gun pods as on previous similar missions. Unfortunately, no details or photos have been made available yet onthe type of weapons used ,but one source repoted seeing one helicopter firing six " missiles" in quick succession against one fortified bunker in the camp .
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Aug 11, 2007 5:29 am

The Gazelles are now equipped with the HOT missiles and are being used in the battles.

What is of interest today are reports that the helicopters are dropping free fall 250 kg and 454 kg bombs and it was reported that the helicopters used for this mission are the AB 212s!

How is this possible? Have helicopters ever used to drop such heavy loads? I actually saw the footages on TV where two large objects were dropped onto the camp.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:20 am

There have been indeed several local media reports quoting " official Army sources " and stating quite clearly that " certain modifications were introduced to improve the combat capabilities and fire-power of Lebanese Air Force helicopters".As usual , those reports were short on details, but they did mention that the modifications were achieved" thanks to Lebanese technical know-how, and were introduced locally by Air Force technicians". They also stated that the development enabled LAF helicopters to carry 250kg " deep penetration bunker-busting" bombs, which were actually dropped on the Nahr al Bared camp in the recent battles where the Army is trying to flush out the last remaining hideouts of the militants.
The reports did not mention anything about 454kg bombs, nor did they specify the type, or types, of helicopters which were modified with this new capability. I personally doubt very much that the light-weight Gazelle could be adapted to carry and drop such rlatively heavy bombs. Also, I think the LAF would be quite happy with their Gazelles now equipped and operated in their ideal role ,ie. as gunships armed with HOT ATGWs, rocket launchers and machine guns.
What seems far more logical would be using the UH-1H(Bell-205) and/or AB-212 for the bombing role, thanks to their much higher load-carrying capability.
I hope it will soon become possible to confirm such a development, especially regarding the return to operational use of the AB-212s, alongside the UH-1Hs and the Gazelles. It would be a welcome addition to the capabilities of the Lebanese Air Force.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:12 pm

A Huey dropping bombs yesterday on the camp. I scanned the photo from al-Nahar daily.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/chopper.jpg
 
PADSpot
Posts: 1637
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:31 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:42 pm

Quoting OD720 (Reply 47):
A Huey dropping bombs yesterday on the camp. I scanned the photo from al-Nahar daily.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Certainly the lowest cost precision bombing I've seen so far ... normal Mk82?
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:03 am

Greetings to all,
Indeed, I saw the same photos on the website of the Lebanese daily al-Nahar which OD-720 refes to. According to Lebanese military sources , quoted in the London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat, the bombs being used are 250kg. weapons which originally were armament used on the Lebanese Air Force Hawker Hunter fighters, and which have been now adapted for use on the helicopters. Interstingly, the paper quotes the same sources as saying that the helicopter type in question is the "La Bell".
Obviously, this is either a printing error, or a mistake in pronouncing the correct name of the helicopter. There is of course no helicpter called "La Bell", but what this could mean is , probably , the AB-212 which was commonly refered to in LAF service as the " Agusta Bell". Alternatively, it could mean simply "The Bell", in reference to the UH-1H,ie. Bell-205,which is also in service with the LAF.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to tell , from the photo in al-Nahar, which type is being used at present ,or even if BOTH are.Hopefully more will become known in due course.
One more note of interest: It is yet again clear that the long and historic association of the Lebanese Air Force with its Hunters is not over yet!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 60 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos