OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:40 pm

And here's a short clip from Al-Jazeera TV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9vnhd7N__g
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:38 am

I find quite strange that al-Jazeera captioned their so-called "exclusive" footage of the Lebanese Air Force Huey as "Emirati planes bombing the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared " !!!
Can they not tell the difference between a Gazelle and a Huey?
Or was this meant as a political swipe by al-Jazeera at the UAE for supplying Lebanon with the Gazelles?
And does this mean that al-Jazeera are supporting the "Fath al-Islam" group in their battle against the Lebanese Army by trying to portray it as a battle against the Palestinian people, at a time when Palestinian leaders themselves describe that militant group as "a gang of terrorists" ?
In any case , it is still quite difficult from that footage to tell whether the helicopters used in the bombing are Bell-205 ( UH-1H) Hueys, or Agusta-Bell-212 Twin-Hueys, or perhaps both !
 
LY744
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:52 am

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 51):
In any case , it is still quite difficult from that footage to tell whether the helicopters used in the bombing are Bell-205 ( UH-1H) Hueys, or Agusta-Bell-212 Twin-Hueys, or perhaps both !

As odd as it may be, the nose on that helicopter definitely looks like that of a 205.


LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:58 pm

Quoting LY744 (Reply 52):
As odd as it may be, the nose on that helicopter definitely looks like that of a 205.

I agree with that as well. It looks more like a classic Huey. The AB 212 has a sharper nose.
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:06 pm

The Lebanese Air Force is putting the Hunters back into service. The rumors were there for the past few days but it seems that now the army is confirming the news.

More to come later.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:33 am

Quoting OD720 (Reply 54):
The Lebanese Air Force is putting the Hunters back into service. The rumors were there for the past few days but it seems that now the army is confirming the news.

More to come later.


This would be absolutely brilliant. I really hope it will happen. Would it not be great to see the classic lines of the good old Hunter gracing Lebanese skies again?
Please keep us informed on the latest developments!
 
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RJAF
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:46 pm

Quoting OD720 (Reply 54):
The Lebanese Air Force is putting the Hunters back into service. The rumors were there for the past few days but it seems that now the army is confirming the news.

That will be really amazing! How many do you think can be made airworthy again? What would it take to wake up the sleeping squadrons?
Chance favors the prepared mind
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:29 am

Quoting RJAF (Reply 56):
will be really amazing! How many do you think can be made airworthy again? What would it take to wake up the sleeping squadrons?

Indeed it will be amazing, and also fantastic news for all of us who never stopped to believe that the Lebanese Air Force will always rise again from the ashes against all the odds, and fly not only helicopters , but also fixed-wing aircraft, and particularly fighters, even if they were as old and vintage as the great Hunter.
And, by the way, Is it not also amazing that here we are talking again about the great Hawker Hunter in Lebanese Air Force service, more than one whole year after this site was first launched with a simple question about the fate of the Hunters in the lebanese Air Force?
I raelly do hope that what our friend OD720 says about the Lebanese Hunters being put back into service proves to be correct , and I certainly look forward to learn more about this. For me, it would be a dream come true, and it would most certainly pave the way for the LAF to acquire a more modern replacement fighter for the great Hunter in the future,just as the RJAF did ,first with the F-5E Tiger and Mirage F-1, and ultimately with the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
As for the number of Hunters that could still be in flyable condition , or which could be brought back into operational flying service, I believe the figure regarded as most likely is somewhere between 8 and 10 aircraft, including at least one T-66C two-seater with the rest comprising a mixture of F-6 and FGA-70/70A single-seaters. Certainly enough to "wake-up" at least one " sleeping squadron " , and provide the solid basis for more to rise in the future.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:57 am

Now that the fighting in the Nahr Al-Bared camp in North Lebanon is finally over, and with the Lebanese Army having crushed the Islamist terrorist group Fath Al-Islam and its Qaida connections, it might be an opportune moment to congratulate the Lebanese Armed Forces as a whole, and the Lebanese Air Force in particular, on their heroic performance and their bravery and innovative spirit in that crucial battle.
The Lebanese Army lost some 160 officers and soldiers, mostly from elite units, such as the Rangers, Marines, and Airborne troops, who took the brunt of the fighting in a battle agaist a vicious, determined and suicidal enemy.
Most of the casualties of the Army were due to sniper fire, booby traps and ambushes, but they knew they had to win that fight, and they did, killing more than 220 extremists, including all their leadership, and taking some 300 prisoner.
The Lebanese Air Force , in particular, did remarkably well. The LAF essentialy " rose from the ashes". Having not fired a shot in anger for more than 15 years, and having been deprived of its combat elements for that duration , the LAF had to rely on its helicopters.
First, they used their recently acquired Gazelles( supplied from the UAE as emrgency aid), and operated them in their primary role as helicopter gunships, armed with 20mm. cannon, 68mm. rocket launchers and HOT ATGWs.
Then came the revelation when it turned out that Lebanese technicians had managed to modify Bell-205 UH-1H helicopters supplied by the US some years ago unarmed, into Helicopter-Bombers, armed with 250kg. and 400kg. bombs(which originally belonged to old Hunter and Mirage-3 fighters used by the LAF), and then operated the helicopters on pricision bombing missions ,totalling some 200 sorties , which proved to be exeptionally effective.
Now we here that the LAF is on the verge of re-introducing its Hunters, of which around 6-8 were believed to be in storage, but still in flying condition, back into operational service after refurbishing and over-hauling them locally.
This is a great achievement especially for a small but determined nation which deserves all the help it can get from the frre world against its enemies.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:42 am

Any further news or updates about the Lebanese Air Force inventory/order of battle after the end of the recent fighting against the terrorist group Fath al-Islam ?

And are there any new developments on the " Hunter back into service " story?
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:38 am

A small collection of few photos I made lately.

A UH-1H carrying a single Mk 83 (454 kg) and 2 Mk 82 (227 kg) bombs

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/whuey1004bombscopy.jpg




Here's something new. Another UH-1H armed with two MATRA (18x68 mm) rocket pods. These rockets were not used in the Nahr el-Bared battle but have seen action with the Hunters in September 1983 and February 1984.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/whueymatra1003copy.jpg




A Gazelle with machine gun pods:


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Vatche Mitilian





Gazelle armed with the HOT missiles:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12/vmitil/wgaz808hotcopy.jpg
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:53 pm

Big version: Width: 500 Height: 309 File size: 65kb
Big version: Width: 500 Height: 272 File size: 50kb


Many thanks to OD720 for his brilliant and most informative photos of the Lebanese Air Force UH-1Hs and Gazelles.

I thought it would be a good idea also to post these two new photos, which I came across recently, courtsy of SCRAMBLE , and depicting Gazelle serial no. L-814, and Robinson R-44 in a new black /red colour scheme and serial no. L-1504.

I hope you will find them interesting, while waiting for the first pictures of the soon-to-be-revived Hunters to emerge.
 
BA
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:29 am

Seeing that four Hawker Hunters have been commissioned again (or are about to), what exactly will be their purpose? I can't see them being anything other than museum pieces or being used in air shows.

I know that Lebanon does envision having a small fleet of modern fighters once again, I forgot where I read this, might have been an article in the summer during the battle against Fatah el-Islam. My question though is what could they possibly get and how would they be funded?

The JF-17 page on Wikipedia mentions that Lebanon is a potential customer but I think this is nothing more than wishful thinking by someone as I couldn't find anything anywhere else on the internet about this.

Quoting OD720 (Reply 60):

Wow...that's got to be the most heavily armed Huey ever.  Smile

The Gazelles look great in the green camouflage scheme. The desert camouflage might be fine for the UAE, but not for Lebanon.  Wink
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:09 pm

Quoting BA (Reply 62):



Quoting BA (Reply 62):
Seeing that four Hawker Hunters have been commissioned again (or are about to), what exactly will be their purpose? I can't see them being anything other than museum pieces or being used in air shows.

Indeed one might find it rather strange for the Lebanese Air Force to bring the Hunter back from retirement to put it in active service again.

However, the move is not as bewildering as it might look initially. The reason the Hunters were decommissioned in the first place back in the mid-90s , alongside the then remaining Fouga-Magisters and Bulldogs, was mainly political, rather than anything to do with military or operational considerations.

The Syrians, who at the time had gained political and military control over Lebanon did not want the LAF to have any fixed-wing combat capability, regardless of how limited or obsolete it may be. The Air Force then had to put out of service all its remaining fixed-wing aircraft, including up to 8 Hunters ( 7 F-70 single-seaters and 1 T-66 two-seater ), 6 Fouga-Magisters used for basic training and light attack, and 4 Bulldog primary trainers. Also, they had to abandon plans to bring back into service 10 Mirage-3 fighters ( 9 -3EL single-seaters and 1 -3DL two-seater ) which had been in storage since the mid-80s.

By 1995, the LAF had no fixed-wing aircraft flying, becoming instead a wholly helicopter-equipped force. By all accounts, the Hunters and other aircraft which were put in storage were still in remarkably good condition, and the LAF actually made it a point to maintain them in storage at a nearly airworthy state. The Mirages, however, were eventually sold to Pakistan in 2000.

The LAF obviously believes that it still needs an operational fixed-wing combat capability, something which has been proven beyond doubt during recent fighting against the terrorists in the north, and where the use of airpower proved vital in achieving victory for the Lebanese Army.

With no funds available immediately, or in the foreseeable future , for the purchase of new modern aircraft, the most logical course of action for the LAF was obviously to put back into service some of the stored Hunters, at least as an interim measure. Such a step would also be important in providing LAF pilots with valuable flying-hours and renewed experience on fixed-wing aircraft on a type with which the LAF is extremely familiar with. Added to this, of course, is the important "political message " of having the fighters back in operational service . Even flying them in airshows and displays over Beirut and other parts of Lebanon would be a significant development for a lot of Lebanese people !

As for any longer-term plans, I agree that the report about the JF-17 sounds a little bit far-fetched. What might be much more likely is for the LAF to acquire some more modern fighter-trainer type of multi-role cmbat aircraft, such as the Hawk or the L-39./ 159 Albatross family, either as new or, more probably, as a gift from the surplus arsenal of some friendly country, just like what happened with the US-supplied UH-1H Hueys and the UAE-supplied Gazelles, which were used with remarkable effect in the recent fighting.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:40 am

I have just come across some very interesting new updates concerning the efforts which are currently underway to rebuild and revitalize the equipment and operational capabilities of the Lebanese Air Force.

i am at the moment double-checking the accuracy of that information , and I hope I will be able to post it here as soon as possible.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:06 pm

Further to my previous message, here is some of the latest updates which I promised about recent and on-going developments re. the Lebanese Air Force :

1- Contrary to all commonly-accepted information, and quite a surprise to me, the supposed sale of the LAF fleet of Mirage-3 fighters never actually took place. Apparently, the deal was agreed in principle and should have been finalized back in 2000. However, some "unexplained" last-minute snags led to its cancellation, and the whole thing was dropped rather quietly, and with no one bothering to correct the reports which had already surfaced at the time about its completion. As such, the aircraft were never actually delivered to the Pakistani Air Force, but remained in Lebanon eversince. According to my info, which I can describe as quite reliable, the Mirages , comprising 9 -3EL single-seaters and 1 3-DL two-seater, were seen recently in their hangar at Koleiat AB , and were described as "in immaculate condition". However, the LAF has "no immediate plans" to put them back in operational service.

2- The plans to bring back the Hawker Hunters into service, however, are still going ahead. According to the latest on this, the LAF still has a total of 8 Hunters, including 6 F6/F70/F70a single-seaters and 2 T66 two-seaters. The plans call for putting back into service 5 aircraft, inc. 4 single-seaters and 1 two-seater. My sources tell me that "they are nearly there", and there still need to sort some "very minor" technical issues before they are put into active squadron service, which I was told should be "quite soon".

3- The LAF now has a full complement of 9 Gazelles operational. These are the ones donated to Lebanon earlier this year from the UAE. All of them have been serialized in the L-800 range, just like the original LAF Gazelles, and are equipped with 12.7mm MGs, 20mm cannon, 68mm rockets and HOT ATGWs.

4- .In addition to the 9 ex-UAE Gazelles, the LAF is currently refurbishing and putting back in service 3 Gazelles which are the sole survivors of the original fleet of 8 which they had back in the 1980s, the rest having been either destroyed or rendered non-operational during the fighting then. This should bring the total of Gazelles in service up to 12 mainly used as armed gunships in the grond-support and anti-tank role.

5- There are also 2 remaining Puma medium transport and assault helicopters which were found to be in a good enough condition to refurbish and put back in service, out of 6 which were operated in the 1980s( some other reports talk about the original total as 12 but they remain unconfirmed).

6- The LAF is currently in the process of putting back in service 4 Agusta-Bell-212 ( Twin-Huey) medium transport and assault helicopters. These are also the remaining units of a total of 12 which the LAF had originally. I am told that the 4 AB-212s have already been overhauled and upgraded.

7- They will almost certainly be integrated, alongside the refurbished 2 Pumas , into the squadrons currently equipped with the US-supplied Bell-205 ( UH-1H ), which the LAF now operate a total of 24, out of 32 delivered, the rest being used as spares. The Hueys are used in a variety of roles including medium transport, assault, medevac, fire-fighting, and general utility duties, in addition of course to their newly-aquired role as gruond-attack gunships/bombers, in which they were extensively used during the recent fighting against terrorists in the north of the country. A total of 4 UH-1Hs were converted to this role, and equipped with 250kg and 400kg bombs and 68mm SNEB rocket launchers.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:16 pm

wouldn't it make more sense to put the mirages back into service?
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:22 pm

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 66):



Quoting Hunterson (Reply 65):
wouldn't it make more sense to put the mirages back into service?

Yes, I guess it does. But perhaps they have some good reasons for not doing so. I can think of a few, such as the more familiarity of the LAF pilots and ground crews with the Hunter, remembering that the Mirages have been in storage since at least the early 1980s. Also, probably the availability of a ready stock of spare parts. And, maybe above all, the fact that the Hunters would probably be much less expensive to operate and maintain than the good old Hunters, specially if the whole exercise were to be an interim measure pending the availability of some more modern equipment in the future.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:30 am

but what can you do with a hunter?! The Mirages still provide a decent platform for some upgrades.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:56 pm

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 68):
but what can you do with a hunter?! The Mirages still provide a decent platform for some upgrades.

I agree with you again. But perhaps you can refer to an earlier reply which I had posted recently on this topic (reply 63).Let me know what you think.
 
F27Friendship
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:24 pm

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 69):
I agree with you again. But perhaps you can refer to an earlier reply which I had posted recently on this topic (reply 63).Let me know what you think.

if it doesn't cost them a lot, I agree it's a good move to get pilots their flying hours and boost morale. But more than flight training and basic air to ground missions is all they could achieve.

How much money would be involved?

A Mirage III on the other hand is a frame with a lot of potential to upgrade. You can do some pretty nifty stuff with it, once you get modern systems in it.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:33 am

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 70):

if it doesn't cost them a lot, I agree it's a good move to get pilots their flying hours and boost morale. But more than flight training and basic air to ground missions is all they could achieve.



Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 70):

A Mirage III on the other hand is a frame with a lot of potential

Again I must say I agree with you entirely. I have always been a great fan of the Mirage , from its early beginnings as the Mirage-3 , up to the Mirage-5, Mirage F-1 , and Mirage-2000, not to mention all its other variants and guises , such as the Nesher, Dagger, Cheetah, Panthera , Kfir ..etc. I have no doubt that any veteran Lebanese fighter pilot would tell you that he would love to see the Mirage-3 flying again in Lebanese colours, and ending up with some up-graded version similar in a way to the Kfir or the Cheetah.

The reality , however, is rather different unfortunately. The re-introduction of the Hunter into operational service must have been seen by the LAF command as the easiest and most cost-effective option available to meet an urgent and quite simple requirement, calling for the re-equipment of the Air Force with a relatively cheap, familiar, available, simple to operate and maintain, and reasonably effective fixed-wing combat element, capable of performing simple basic straight foreward ground attack roles in close support of the ground forces.

I believe this is really the main objective of the LAF, and I am sure that no Lebanese military doctrine or strategist or commander is thinking of using the Hunters or the Mirages or anything else to that matter, in order to fight-off intruding Syrian MiG-29s or Su-24s, or Israeli F-15s and F-16s.

As such, maybe the Hunters back in service would be just a first step , and probably the correct one , as an interim move leading eventually to the more long term plan of acquiring some kind of a low-cost multi-role modern type suitable for basic and advanced training, as well as point air defence and light strike ground support and COIN duties, such as the Hawk, the L-159 Albatross , or even the M-346.

At the same time let us not rule out completely the possibility of the Lebanese Mirages flying again. Who knows ?

After all, they did make it a point to keep them in an " immaculate condition " and ready to fly again at short notice for more than 20 years of storage . Quite a feat, dont you think ?
 
F27Friendship
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:09 am

I guess you'r right, and when well taken care of, it doesn;t really matter how old the frame is. But what about the engine? That must be the critical component. Enthusiasts that keep vintage planes in the air are very carefully pampering their engines and only fly them at air shows etc. From what I understand from your post they want to use these jets on a regular basis.

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 71):
and ending up with some up-graded version similar in a way to the Kfir or the Cheetah.

that was exactly what I was thinking

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 71):
as well as point air defence and light strike ground support and COIN duties, such as the Hawk, the L-159 Albatross , or even the M-346.

these would be good planes. If money is really a problem, they might be able to get a bunch of G-4 Super Galebs from Serbia (which are standing around for years now). Equals the Hawk in performance, must be very cheap and the're working on an update program G-4M




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joop de Groot - CRMAP

 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:57 pm

I can not comment on the story of the Mirage 3s but I can say that I have seen photos from the Pakistan Air Force of what is claimed to be the Lebanese jets in new paints. I can post those photos here but it's hard or impossible to tell if they are actually the LAF jets.

The info on the Hinters is very accurate. They are still working on them to make them airworthy but I am not sure of they will fly them at all.

Out of the 9 Gazelles recently recieved from the UAE, only 4 are operational and the UAE will be spending $3 million to make thos 5 operational.

I have no info on the AB 212s at present but the last I heard, maybe 2 months ago, that they are not too keen to bring them back into service. Maybe they will reconsider, I don't know.

Lebanon recieved a total of 24 Hueys from the US. One was crashed and there's no one in the air force that could say how many are operational. I have seen 16 flying in combination a year or so ago.


As for news, about a month or so ago, can't remember the exact date, Lebanon has asked the US for modern jets. My own guess is that it must have been the F-16 (early blocks) and the answer has come as a big NO. This is when Lebanese military officials have stressed that "we should look elsewhere". At what stage has this process of shortlisting by the air force reached is out of anyone's knowledge but the people involved. Now an article just published by Defence News says that the US is offering Lebanon TA-3 Skywarriors! I must say that if this is true, it first makes the US look quite bad and I hope Lebanon turns down such a humiliating offer. I say, bring back the Hunters!

Here's the article:

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=3153847&C=mideast
 
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RJAF
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:12 pm



Quoting OD720 (Reply 73):
TA-3 Skywarriors

Did I read this correctly? An early 50s strategic bomber to the LAF? Something is not right.
Chance favors the prepared mind
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:46 pm

Quoting OD720 and RJAF,

I have been aware of this story rumbling on about the TA-3s supposedly offered to the Lebanese Air Force by the US. I honestly think, and with all due respedt to Defence News and its correspondent, that it is either a joke or somekind of a printing mistake. I am not even sure that there are still any flying examples of that venerable aircraft which was retired some 40 years ago. , and which even in its day saw relatively limited service with the USN, both as a bomber and a conversion trainer. It just never made sense to me that out of all the huge number of surplus equipment available in US stocks, the Americans would all of a sudden decide to supply Lebanon with a strategic medium range airline-sized bomber that will probably require the whole of the LAF pool of pilots and ground crews, let alone fuel supplies , to fly and maintain.

Either the US diplomat quoted in the story did not know what he / she was talking about , or used the wrong designation, or was just trying to pull a fast one !

I do think, on the other hand, that the US might be seriously considering supplying the LAF with a small no. of fixed-wing training / combat aircraft. Perhaps something along the lines of the TA-4 Skyhawk, or even the T-38 Talon.

As for the Mirage-3 story, believe me it came as much as a surprise to me as to everyone else. I had long thought that the aircraft were sold and delivered to Pakistan in 2000. But my info source was adamant on this issue , assuring me that they were never delivered and that the deal was never completed. That also was confirmed to me later by another reliable source who said that the Mirages were actually seen in their hangar at Koleiaat , less than a couple of years ago , and that they were still in their usual pristine condition , as if they were ready to fly !

I can also confirm that all the ex-UAE Gazelles have now been brought up to operational status with serial nos. ranging from L-808 to L-816, and with the UAE having paid for their overhaul and refurbishment. Whether that means that the LAF is flying them all or not I am not totally sure.

The same also applies to the 4 AB-212s, 2 Pumas and 3 remaining Gazelles , all of which the LAF is now actively bringing back to service to satisfy its operational requirements and with funds already allocated for that purpose, just as the case with the 5 Hunters.

What is still unknown, however, is what the LAF intends to do about its other stored aircraft which include 6 Fouga-Magister and 4 Bulldog trainers, and 4 Alouette-3 and 2 Alouette-2 helicopters, as well as 1 Dove light transport.
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:02 pm



Quoting Hunterson (Reply 75):
I have been aware of this story rumbling on about the TA-3s supposedly offered to the Lebanese Air Force by the US. I honestly think, and with all due respedt to Defence News and its correspondent, that it is either a joke or somekind of a printing mistake

Unfortunately, this report is true and the Defense News article has been qouted all local networks and dailies. If it were not true, we would have heard some sort of statement from the US embassy here either rubbishing the reports or denying the news all together.

I personally think that the US isn't really serious about the A-3 Skyworrier but is quite serious in conveying the message to the Lebanese that you are way too far from getting anything modern for the time being.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:51 pm

Quoting OD720 (reply 76 )


Yes , you are right, I also saw it in various media outlets. But they were all quoting the original story from Defence News. I am not sure , though , that anyone had bothered to double-check it first with the US embassy, or indeed with US sources in Washington DC to try to get a proper official reaction from them.

In any case, and if it is really true, it would not change my view that it is a joke. Can you imagine the LAF operating a mid-sized medium range strategic bomber ( roughly the size of an Airbus A-320 ) for training purposes ? And can you think of the cost and logistical requirements involved, for an airforce with such limited resources ?

I agree , on the other hand , with your last statement about what the Americans might be trying to tell the Lebanese regarding the possibility of supplying them with modern equipment. But how about a reasonably more suitable type ,even if it is old or obsolete, such as the TA-4, which as you know was offered to Lebanon by the US as far back as 1965 ?


And, by the way , does anyone know if there are any A-3s / TA-3s still in flying condition in the first place ?

This whole thing is starting to remind me of when the LAF operated ex- Italian SM-79 WW2 medium bombers for training and transport when it was first established back in 1949 !!!
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:34 am

The Air Force hopes to get F-5E Tigers from Jordan or Saudi Arabia.

And UAE is offering training of pilots on the BAe Hawk. Also, you were right Hunterson on the Pumas.

Here are some update, courtesy of Riad Kahwaji of Defense News:

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=3217442&C=mideast
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:17 am

Thanks OD720. I am sure that both the Pumas and the AB-212s remaining will bi back in service soon , and so will be the Hunters, at least until the F-5s are delivered. So, I think Riad got it right this time.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:15 pm

By the way, and in the midst of all these developments, is ther any new info about the future of the other types of aircraft believed to be still in storage with the LAF, such as the remaining Fouga Magisters, Bulldogs, and Alouettes ?
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:40 am



Quoting Hunterson (Reply 80):
By the way, and in the midst of all these developments, is ther any new info about the future of the other types of aircraft believed to be still in storage with the LAF, such as the remaining Fouga Magisters, Bulldogs, and Alouettes ?

These are all old models and tracking spares may represent a challenge, just like the Hunters. I think the way is to look forward. The Saudis are really determined to give a few jets, if the US blocks the F-5, they are ready to go further with their efforts.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:42 am



Quoting OD720 (Reply 81):

Thanks a lot for the new info , but can you please elaborate a little more about what you mean by the last sentence ?
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:08 pm



Quoting Hunterson (Reply 82):
can you please elaborate a little more about what you mean by the last sentence ?

They are considering options of non-US made jets, in service with their and other friendly air forces in the Gulf. There are no plans that I know of buying new or used equipment.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:26 pm



Quoting OD720 (Reply 83):



Quoting OD720 (Reply 83):

They are considering options of non-US made jets

These could only mean British - made Hawks, if I am not mistaken. I can not think of any other non-US product in service with the RSAF or the UAEAF and suitable for the LAF requirements at present or in the foreseeable future.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:24 pm

It just occured to me, while there is currently a lot of talk about what possible equipment the Lebanese Air Force is likely to obtain in the near future, such as surplus Jordanian or Saudi F-5Es , that there was a period back in the 1960s when the USA offered to supply Lebanon with combat aircraft .

The requirement at the time was to replace the Vampires ( around 12-14 ) still operated since the 1950s alongside the Hunters, and Lebanon was offered a squadron of A-4 Skyhawks ( reportedly 18 units ). The LAF tuned down the offer, however, and opted to purchase 12 Mirage-3s from France instead. These were delivered from 1968 onwards, and remained operational until the mid-80s when they were placed in storage,and eventually sold to Pakistan in 2000, although there have been more reports disputing this and claiming that the sale was not completed and the 10 remaining aircraft never delivered but are still in Lebanon.

Whatever the case may be, the far less well aspect of this story is that which dates back again to the 1960s, and which states that after the Lebanese have tuned down the Skyhawks, the US offered the LAF F-8 Crusaders.

I have no way of actually confirming or denying this story, but I think that the prospect of Lebanon operating the Crusader in those days, alongside the USN and the French Aeronavale would have been fascinating indeed.

I hope somebody might be able to shed some more light on this interesting piece of history !




y,
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:23 am

Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes to all for a happy and peaceful New Year 2008.

I am rather surprised that no one has yet come up with any further info on that little obscure footnote of military history regarding the US offer to supply the Lebanese Air Force back in the 1960s ( or maybe it was the early 70s, I am not quite sure ) with a squadron of USN surplus F-8 Cruaaders. I was hoping that some one out there would be able to shed some more light and provide more info about this relatively little-known story. So here I am jogging your good memories again !
Is ther anybody out there?
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:42 pm

I'm not aware of the F-8 offer back then but since the Air Force was "out shopping" during that period, I'm sure there would have been a variety types offered by different parties. I think they did the right choice by buying the Mirage III. Too bad though the civil war forced the entire fleet of the Mirages to be grounded.

Here's an interesting article forwarded to me by RJAF here a while ago, where the Skyhawk offer to Lebanon is well documented.

 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:44 am

Dear all,

I'm currently in the process of updating the Lebanese Air Force page on Wikipedia. I already made a new and much more friendlier table of the aircraft inventory (current) and am in the process of writing a whole new text instead of the one appearing now. This text gives little info and concentrates on certain and very narrow events in the air forces history.

You can check the new table here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_Air_Force

All comments, remarks, updates and feedback are welcome.

I will be replacing the text in the next few days. I will later try to include some photos (including my own) as well.

Best regards to all.
Vatche
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:13 am

Dear OD720,

I went through your revised table of the lebanese Air Force equipment and order of battle summary, and i would like to congratulate you for a job well done. You have managed to incllude all the recent updates and current developments , and I think that you have come up with a very accurate picture of the present status of the LAF. i can not wait to read your revised text and have a look on any new pics you might provide.
With my compliments and thanks again.
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:05 am

I just replaced the text with a smaller and more reader friendly story which I think is enough not to bore anyone but is good enough for general info.

Here's the link once again:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_Air_Force

Best regards.
 
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RJAF
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:50 pm

So, since Fath Al-Islam terrorists have been defeated, is there still any good reason to revive the Hunters? Things have gone quiet on this forum since the jubilant reports that a few might be made airworthy. What about the puzzling A-3 Skywarriors deal from the US or the interesting F-5E deal from Saudi or Jordan? Any news your end Vatche?
Chance favors the prepared mind
 
PADSpot
Posts: 1637
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:02 pm



Quoting RJAF (Reply 91):
What about the puzzling A-3 Skywarriors deal from the US or the interesting F-5E deal from Saudi or Jordan? Any news your end Vatche?

Maybe some F-16As from AMARG would serve the purpose best?
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:41 pm



Quoting RJAF (Reply 91):
since Fath Al-Islam terrorists have been defeated, is there still any good reason to revive the Hunters?

I may be wrong but I think they have given up on the Hunters for now. They were still working on a few frames till November, more than 2 months after the Fath el-Islam battle was concluded. I have not heard anything since.

The current domestic divisions including the failure to elect a new president have slowed things quite considerably but still, the military has manged to sign a few contracts with several parties for enhancing its capabilities. It's only logical that the air force (and the navy) will get their share as well.

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 92):
Maybe some F-16As from AMARG would serve the purpose best?

At present, the US will supply Lebanon a few jet trainers only and the F-16A/Bs are not on the list, at least for the next year or so.
 
hunterson
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:41 pm

I certainly agree with OD-720 that plans and ambitions to develop and upgrade the operational capabilities of the Lebanese Air Force seem to be on hold now mainly as a result of the political impasse which Lebanon is facing at the moment pending the election of a new president and the formation of a new government. But I still hope that he is wrong about the re-activation of the Hunters as I strongly believe that it is a very good idea to provide the Air Force with a cheap interim fixed-wing combat element which would serve as an ideal bridge towards a more substantial development plan if and when the political and financial circumstances permit.
Although the need for such a fixed-wing combat capability was high-lighted by the battle against the terrorists in Nahr Al-Bared, the requirementf for such a capability was always clear both within the Air Force and amongst analysts and neutral observers inside and outside Lebanon. We all know that the retirement of the combat element of the LAF in the mid-90s was due to purely political reasons rather than anything to do with operational doctrine or defence requirements.
It remains to be seen what concete steps will eventually be made by a new administration in Lebanon re. the future of the LAF. Of course the hope is that the present political difficulties will end soon and a new president and government get elected democratically and constitutionally as soon as possible, so that the rebuilding and modernization of the LAF can then progress as it should.
Whether such a process includes an interim phase with a few Hunters flying again (as I most certainly hope) or not , nobody can tell at this stage. As for later, I wish the Lebanese can afford the luxury of dreaming of a possible act of US generosity to supply the LAF with a number of surplus F-16A/Bs. But I believe it would be far more realistic for them to limit their ambitions to more probable scenarios such as a few ex-RJAF or RSAF F-5E/F Tigers, and perhaps also a number of surplus multi-role trainer-combat aircraft such as the Hawk or the L-159 Albatross.
But please, anything other than that mind-boggling suggestion of the TA-3 Skywarrior, which I still think was more of a joke than anything serious. We can live with our own old familiar Hunters, but certainly the last thing the LAF needs is a throwback to an ex-USN medium-range strategic bomber ( with no bombs ! ) from the 1950s!
Let us keep looking foreward guys, and please, let us try to remain optimistic !
 
BA
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:38 pm

Hi Vatche,

I see on Wikipedia that the LAF has 23 UH-1H Hueys. Does this mean they originally had 24 before one crashed a few years ago? Or have they replaced that one?
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:00 pm

Can somebody please correct me if I am wrong.
The Lebanese Air Force received a total of 32 UH-1Hs in two consecutive batches of 16 units each. They put 24 in service, and kept 8 in storage as a source of spare parts and as general reserves. One UH-1H was lost in an accident a while ago , so there should be 23 remaining with the 2 active units, 10sq and 11sq.
Is this info correct as it stands ?
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:46 pm

Dear BA and Hunterson,

According to Globalsecurity.org, which is very reliabale, there were 32 UH-1H Hueys delivered but data on their website is not very clear and it dates back to 2000. The table says 32 UH-1s and 16 AB-205s which casts some doubt.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...rld/lebanon/airforce-equipment.htm

According to the official Lebanese Air Force website, the number is 24. So I think I will stick with 24 until we get some sort of info that there were actually more Hueys. As you say, one was lost and was not replaced.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:58 am

Dear OD720.

I am quite sure that the bit about the AB-205s is a straight foreward error as there is absolutely no other source or indicator which has ever mentioned them in relation with the Lebanese Air Force either during that period, or indeed at any other time.

As for the UH-1Hs, I do recall that the official announcement made upon the delivery of the first batch and during the ceremony which was held on the occasion, did infact speak of 16 units, and also mentioned specifically that there will be a second batch at a later date comprising also another 16 units. There was indeed a second batch delivered a couple of years after the first one( the first took place sometime around 96, so the 2nd would have taken place around 98 ).

What is far from certain is whether that second batch had included 16 helicopters or anything less than that.

At least we know that the number assigned to active service was 24 in two squadrons. So were these the total number of UH-1Hs delivered, or were there another 8 which were kept in reserve and used as attrition replacements and for spares, that is really the question which I can not answer with any certainty.
 
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RJAF
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:52 pm

Hi all,

Things have gone quiet here...

Do we have any news on the Hunters or the F-5Es or the US aid package to the LAF?
Chance favors the prepared mind

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