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

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:06 am

It seems that there are some Hunters at least which to all intents and purposes are at near operational status pending the availability of both funds and some minor parts . According to some reliable estimates their number is given at between 5 and 6 aircraft including one two-seater.
But of course the real issue in Lebanon at the moment is the political decision required to put the Hunters back in the air. Everything in the country as I am sure you are aware has now been frozen waiting for a solution to the political crisis which has prevented so far the election of a new president and the resumption of normal political decision-making process.
I am sure the same problem is currently facing the plans to acquire a new type of combat aircraft. The idea was to receive a number of 2nd.-hand aircraft as a gift and the probability was either 6-8 ex-UAEAF Hawk combat trainer-fighters or a similar number of ex-RJAF or even ex-RSAF F-5E Tiger multi-role fighters including a couple of F-5F 2-seaters for conversion training.Some reports even mentioned the possibility of ex-Omani Jaguars.
However, it all seems now to be hanging in the balance with everyone waiting to see the political outcome of the present situation before making any concrete moves.
Hopefully, it will still happen and the Lebanese Air Force will have a renewed fixed-wing jet fighter combat capability back in the skies sometime soon, but before that happens I do believe that it will have to wait until the current political difficulties are over and the country regains its full sovereignty and independence.
 
OD720
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:37 am

It's very true what Hunterson says about the political stalemate effecting many plans and projects in the country, including the modernization of the army. However, it seems that plans are being drawn in many areas and that includes the air force as well and I think these would be implemented as soon as a consensus can be reached in some way which will be acceptable by both opposing political camps.

In this context, two small pieces of information was brought to my attention regarding the air force in the past week or so. One says that there is a major deal for helicopters of unidentified type(s) being finalized with the US. The air force has made it clear in the not distant past that it's not satisified with only the Gazelle attack helicopters now in service and wants the enhance the attack fleet with AH-1 Cobras. I'm not sure if this new deal invloves Cobras or just more utility helicopters. We need to wait to find out more about this.

The second and more intersting is the info that Lebanese pilots will carry on trainings on a non-US type modern fighter. We can not tell for sure if this means that the air force will get these jets in the future or not but this fact alone represents a strong possibility. The UAE and the Saudis are ready to fund the purchase of modern jets and the air force has also made clear that they don't want old equipment and are looking forward to a long term solution rather than filling a short time gap with something like the F-5 or Jaguar.

But once again, we shouldn't get carried away with anything before we see some sort of a political settlement which still appears to be difficult to reach.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:32 pm

I agree totally with our friend OD-720 , and I believe the info which he reported from Lebanon about the plans being laid for the future of the LAF makes a lot of sense . Indeed, it has now become quite clear that away from the politicians, there are still a lot of serious , dedicated and honourable people who believe strongly in the future of Lebanon as a country and as a nation , and who are still busy planning to safeguard and strengthen its national institutions , and especially the Armed Forces.

Let us hope that common sense will prevail , and that Lebanon emerges peacefully and positively from its current political difficulties ( which are largely inflicted from the outside anyway) , so that plans and programmes to develop and improve the capabilities of the national Armed Forces, including the Air Force, can be implemented without further delay.

I believe such a development would certainly enjoy the support of the vast majority of the Lebanese people who are so obviously fed up with outside interference in their affairs and the presence of illegal armed groups in their country.

On a more operational level, I for one woud not mind a reltively modest step-by-step approach , where a few Hunters could form the nucleus for a new and more modern fighting capability ( even for a brief interim period) pending the evaluation and eventual delivery of future combat types.

I also agree with OD-720 about the willingness of the Saudis and the UAE to help in financing the Lebanese efforts, as well as ( hopefully ) the USA and other friendly nations in the West, such as the UK, France and other EU and NATO countries. Afer all Lebanon will need all the help it can get from its friends in the world.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:18 am

Hello to All,
After some absence, here we are back to business !

It was interesting that by complete chance I became aware recently of a website entitled " Lebanon Air Force Museum ".
Until now I had no idea that the Lebanese Air Force had a museum. But obviously they do, and it is located at the Rayak AB, approx. 50 miles ( 80 km. ) east of the capital Beirut.
The site lists the following aircraft at the museum :

Vampire T-55 ( L-154 )
Hawker Hunter F-6 ( L-271 )
Fouga Magister ( L-602 )
Alouette-2 ( L-302 )
Alouette-3 ( L-329 )
Agusta-Bell AB-212 ( L-557 )
Gazelle ( L-801 )


While this list might not be comprehensive on its own, it is nevertheless quite interesting on more than one level.
For example, it proves that Hunter F-6 serial no. L-271 was still operational with the LAF until it was placed in storage some 10 or more years ago. No mean feat when we remember that this was actually the very FIRST Hunter delivered to Lebanon back in 1958 as L-171 initially before it was re-serialized L-271 sometime in the mid or late 70s ( it was actually delivered before L-170 which followed later ).
As such, we are talking here about a glorious 50th anniversary of the Hunter in LAF service ( 1958-2008 ).
Also of interest is the preservation of another 50 + year old type ie. the Vampire T-55 L-154 which had apparently served with the LAF from its delivery in 1954 to 1974.
Again, it is quite interesting to note that the presence of such types as the Fouga Magister and the Alouettes with the serial nos. quoted for them proves a lot of info which has so far been firmly in the realm of speculation about their service careers and their successive serial nos. while serving with the LAF.

A few important questions remain though. For example, What about the last remaining Lebanese Dove ( L-110 ) ?
It is known that it was still active until at least the mid or late 80s as a general utility transport and photo recce airplane. Is it still there ? is it part of the LAF museum ? or has it been sold or scrapped ?

Similar questions also relate to other types which had served before, and for quite long periods, with the LAF, such as the T-6 Harvard and the DHC Chipmunk. Are there still any examples of them to be found or seen in Lebanon?

For sure, one Chipmunk ( L-102) was seen in a hangar at Koleiaat AB ( former home to the ex-LAF Mirage-3 squadron until they were sold to Pakistan in 2000 ) and that was as recently as the early 90s.

I am sure hat it would be highly appreciated by all of us who share an interest in the history and equipment of the Lebanese Air Force if any info on these subjects were to be made available by those who happen to know anything about them.

For example, does anyone know anything for certain about the number of Chipmunks which served with the LAF ?
Also, while all available info seem to indicate that Lebanon received a total of 10 Fouga Magisters ( in 2 batches the first 5 from France in 1965-66, and the second from Germany in 1972 ), and that they were initially registered as L-440+, before they were re-serialized as L-400+, and then eventually as L-600+, does anyone have any info about LAF Magisters ever carrying serial nos. in the L-100+ range, even just as an interim or temporary measure ?

I happened to come across an article in the British monthly Air International about the history of the Fouga Magister and it contained a colour drawing of a Lebanese Fouga in silver over-all carrying the serial L-107, which I have never seen before associated wth LAF Fougas !

Was that simply a factual or typing error, or did it tell us something new that we were not aware of before?

Come On Chaps, Tell Us What You Think !!!
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri May 16, 2008 1:51 am

Hello to all,
I wander if anyone has any recent information on the role that the Lebanese Air Force ( if any ) might be playing in the renewed unrest which has unfortunately struck Lebanon during the past few days.
We know that Hizbullah and various other pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian militias have resorted to armed force in an attempt to bring down the democratically elected Government and its various Lebanese allies.
We also know that both the US and the EU, as well as the Arab League have expressed their support for the legitimate Lebanese authorities and their armed forces. The US went one step further by announcing that they intend to speed up military aid destined for the Lebanese Armed Forces which have now been tasked with restoring law and order to the country.
Several units of the Lebanese Army have been deployed in the capital Beirut and various other parts of the country, and it seems that they have managed ( so far ) to bring back some semblance of stability to those areas.
Was the Lebanese Air Force involved in any such activity ?
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:29 am

During a surprise vist to Beirut, U.S. Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Eric Edelman told reporters that the US will supply the Lebanese Air Force a number of utility helicopters. He didn't mention the type of the helicopters or anything about the number being considered.
The stratement was made after the US delegation had discussions with Lebanese officials, including President Sleiman, Defence minister Murr and acting army commander Brigadier el-Masri.
In response to a question about the possibility of "aeroplanes" (meaning fighters or jets) for the air force, he stressed that discussions didn't involve such equipment.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:25 am

Quoting OD720:
This is good news for the Lebanese Armed Forces, especially that it comes right after the election ( at long last ) of a new President , who happens to be the former Commander -in Chief of the Army. It also indicates a "vote of confidence" by the US and other friendly Arab and International players in the new President Gen. Michel Suleiman and his new Government led by PM Fouad Seniora.
Undoubtedly, one would have hoped for better things from the US and other friends and allies to satisfy the urgent needs of the Armed Forces, such as combat aircraft, combat helicopters, main battle tanks, self-propelled artillery, ATGWs and air-defence systems.
All of the above are urgently needed for Lebanon to acquire a credible self-defence capability against both internal and regional threats which face the security and stability of the country.
Nevertheless, Lebanon is now at the stage where " anything is better than nothing". As such, the US announcement that they are prepared to supply the Lebanese Armed Forces with more "utility" helicopters, as well as other arms and munitions is absolutely welcome.
Who knows, maybe, hopefully, the next step would be to agree to supply the LAF with some AH-1 Cobras, or even AH-64 Apaches. And what about some surplus F-16 Falcons ?
And , if not from the US, what about the possibilty of a few Hawks and Mirage-2000s from friendly Arab states like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE?
 
LY744
Posts: 5185
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 11:55 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:30 pm

So what's the latest on the Hunters (and Mirages)? Any progress made on getting them back to flying?


LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:25 am

( Reply to LY744 )


It seems, according to reports from our reliable friends in Beirut that the plans to put the Hunters back into operational service are actually gathering pace and getting much more serious.
After the election of the new president, Gen. Michel Suleiman, the ex. Army Commander and reportedly a keen supporter of the plan to re-activate the fighter element of the Lebanese Air Force, the Hunters are well on their way back to fly, even as an interim measure pending the availability of more mdern equipment in the hopefully near future.
These reliable reports indicate that the LAF will shortly put back in service some 4-5 Hunters, including at least one T-66 2-seater and the rest made up of F-70 single-seaters. These aircraft will be drawn from the 8 Hunters which have been in storage at the Riyak AB since the mid 1990s, and which include 6 F-6/F-70 single-seaters and 2 T-66 2-seaters. it is also known that one F-6 reg. L-271 is currently kept in Riyak as part of the LAF museum.
As for the Mirage-3s which were stored by the LAF since the 1980s, it seems that the lot, comprising a total of 10 machines ( 9 single-seat -3ELs and 1 two-seat -3DL ) have actually been sold and delivered to Pakistan in 2000.
The hopes (and plans) for the LAF now seem to be focused on acquiring some more modern equipment to replace the Hunters in the medium term. These aspirations include the possible (some reliable reports say probable ) delivery of a number of ex. UAEAF Hawk-63 aircraft for use as basic/advanced trainers and light multi-role fighters, the number quoted being some 6-8 aircraft. These could pave the way for the possible delivery at a later date of a similar number of either ex-UAEAF or ex-Qatari AF Mirage-2000s.
If all goes well, these aircraft would then constitute, alongside the Hawks, the basis of the fixed-wing combat element of the LAF in the future.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:34 am

Two recent developments worth reporting on the current status of the Lebanese Air Force.

The first is the reported crash landing last month of one of the LAF Gazelles while on a routine training mission somewhere in Eastern Lebanon. Thankfully. the crew of two survived the crash with minor injuries, but it is believed that the helicopter was a write-off. It is not yet known whether the Gazelle involved in the accident was one of the 9 supplied to the LAF last year from the UAEAF, and used extensively at the time as ground support gunships against militant Islamist insurgents during the battles of the Nahr-el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in the north of the country, or whether it was one of the few remaining Gazelles ( 2-3 units) which the LAF was reportedly planning to refurbish and bring back to operational service from the original 8 which were obtained by Lebanon from France in the 1980s.

On a more cheerful note, the LAF recently took delivery of a new Agusta-Westland AW-139 medium transport helicopter as a personal gift from the Emir of Qatar to the newly-elected President of Lebanon, Gen Michel Suleiman. The AW-139 was handed over in an official ceremony at Beirut AFB, and was added to the LAF inventory, where it will be operated as a VIP transport as well as other support duties as required.

Meanwhile, for all those Hawker Hunter lovers out there, it seems that the LAF plans to put a few Hunters back in srevice, at least for a short interim period, are still going forward.
Despite numerous problems and delays , reports suggest that the plans to re-activate up to 4-5 of the remaining 8 Hunters kept in storage by the LAF since the mid-1990s seem to be still on track, with hopes that the aircraft might be back in the air before the end of this summer.

Nothing is absolutely certain yet, but it is reported that the LAF plan is to operate the re-activated Hunters as an interim measure pending the delivery of 6-8 Hawk trainers and light fighters from the UAEAF, which has apparently pledged to donate them to the LAF in the near future, with reliable reports suggesting that a number of LAF pilots have actually been undergoing training on these aircraft for several weeks now in the UAE.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:15 am

Hello to all,
Some new info has appeared in the recent days about the present staus and future plans of the Lebanese Air Force, which should be interesting to all of you out there.
The UK-based magazine Air Forces Monthly ( airforcesmonthly.com ), has just published a detailed feature on the LAF. Under the title " Lebanese Air Force Resurrection ", AFM sheds a lot of light on a lot of what has been happening with the LAF recently, and seems to confirm several stories which have been circulating about its current capabilities and development plans (and hopes ) for the foreseeable future.
The article is on p.22 of the latest Oct.2008 issue. It is headlined with a previously unseen photo of an LAF Hunter F70A taken on August 14, 2007, probably at Rayak AFB, according to the magazine. The fighter is obviously undergoing repairs, and being readied for operational service.
AFM states that earlier reports about Lebanese Hunters being brought back to service more than a decade after they had been retired " have now been confirmed ". It goes on to say that "one single-seat Hunter F70A and one two-seat T66C have been seen operational at Beirut within the last month or so." The magazine goes on to quote local sources which report that
a total of 3 single-seaters are now operational, with another one on the way, making a total fleet of 6 Hunters, comprising 5 F70/70A single-seaters and 1 T66C two-seater.
AFM states that the machines have been drawn from the remaining Hunters which had been in storage at Rayak AB since the mid-1990s, and whose serial nos. are believed to be as follows:
L-271 ( F6 )
L-275 ( F6 )
L-276 ( F70 )
L-282 ( F70A )
L-284 (F70A )
L-285 ( F70 A)
L-286 ( T66C )
L-287 ( T66C)


AFM also confirms reports that the LAF is plnning to re-introduce the Bulldog trainers into its operational service, and says that 3 of the type, serial nos. probably L-142/144/145 previously seen in storage at Rayak in Feb.2006, are currently being overhauled and refurbished.-
It then goes on to confirm earlier reports about plans to refurbish and bring back into service at least some of the surviving Pumas and AB-212 Twin-Hueys.

It states that there are still 7 AB-212s, serial nos. L-552/555/556/557/558/559/562 out of the original 12 delivered in the 1970s. As for the Pumas, it says there are currently 5 in storage, including SA-330Ls L-901/906, and IAR-330Ls L-907/909/911, out of 12 originally delivered in the 1980s. the plan to refurbish these helicopters is currently being carried out with funding provided by Qatar.

The refurbished helicopters are set to join the present helicopter fleet of the LAF which comprise 23 US-supplied UH-1H Hueys,, 9 UAE-supplied SA-342L Gazelles and 4 Robinson R-44s. The UAE is also supplying 3 more Gazelles to make a total force of 12 attack helicopters armed with a mixture of 12.7mm MG pods, 20mm cannon and HOT ATGWs. The Hueys are mainly used as multi-role utility helicopters for medium lift, assault, rescue, medevac, fire-fighting and logistical support, but have also been modified locally for attack missions, armed with 68mm rocket pods and 250kg and 400kg bombs.

AFM also confirms that LAF pilots had been undergoing training and conversion duties in Jordan, Egypt and the UAE, and indicates that the top priorities for the LAF at present include the aquisition of 4-6 jet fighter-trainers, and a similar number of attack helicopters such as the AH-1 Cobra.

The magazine also mentions the recent delivery to the LAF of an Agusta-Westland AW-139 donated by Qatar to be used for VIP duties, and reports its original identity as US-registered N473TS.

Finally, it should be mentioned that a lot of the info contained in the AFM article support and indeed confirm earlier reports revealed by our friend Vatche on his wonderful site "The Independent Guide to the Lebanese Air Force " which is now probably the best source available on the subject.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:48 am

Great post Hunterson about the recent activities in the air force.

It is also worth adding that Gen. Samir Maalouly has recently been appointed the new commander of the air force replacing Gen. Nouhad Zebian. Maalouly, who has been a Hunter pilot himself, has been given the task to "resurrect" the air force by enhancing its abilities with more attack helicopters and a small squadron of jets.
The repairing of the Bulldogs and some of the stored helicopters, and the recruiting of new generation of jet (fixed wing) pilots come as a direct result of his immediate reshuffling of things inside the air force.
In any case, he has a very ambitious plan for the air force working closely with President Suleiman. Let's hope that he can get the necessary political and financial backing of the government which keeps distracted by other issues in the country.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:44 am

Many thanks to OD720 for his kind and generous remarks.
I do agree that with the election of Gen. Michel Suleiman as President, and the recent appointment of Gen Maalouli as Commander, the future of the Lebanese Air Force looks brighter than it has been for a very long time.
At least now we can detect and feel a new sense of urgency and seriousness in the plans to revitalize and modernize the air force, and I honestly find it difficult to believe that any politician in the country would be foolish enough to try to obstruct those plans.
As OD720 rightly and correctly says it is those so-called " distractions" that may yet prove to be the real obstacle. By that I think he means the petty domestic divisions and external pressures which have managed in the past, and may still be able to do so again, in preventing a national consensus on a credible defence policy and posture.
Let us indeed hope that the political and national will would prevail this time.
It is high time that Lebanon gets the armed forces it needs to defend and safeguard its national independence and territorial integrity.
And let us also hope that the plans envisaged for the air force can finally materialize in a proper and realistic manner, including the urgent requirements for a squadron of new jet trainer-fighters, more attack helicopters, as well as additional support and transport helicopters, and ultimately, in the next 2-3 years , a squadron of new-generation multi-role fighters.
It is not much, but it will probably be enough to bring the Lebanese Air Force back to the future .
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:38 am

It seems that the Lebanese Air Force might finally get the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, which it had wanted for such a long time.

While nothing official has been announced yet, reliable US and Lebanese sources have expressed their confidence during the last few days about an agreement soon to be finalized between the US Administration and the Lebanese Government on the issue of American support for the Lebanese Armed Forces.

The recently-elected Lebanese President Gen. Michel Suleiman was in Washington earlier this week on what was described by US officials as a " historic visit ", which included meetings with Pres. Bush and Sec. of Defense Robert Gates. it is reliably reported that the talks were focused ( among other things ) on re-equipping and modernizing the Lebanese Armed Forces, including the supply of " Armed Combat Helicopters ".

Although neither the type nor the number of the helicopters concerned were mentioned, it is widely believed that the reports refer to the AH-1 Cobra for which the Lebanese Air Force has had a long-standing requirement.

It is believed that the LAF would like to get some 6-8 Cobras to add to its present fleet of combat and support helicopters, comprising 23 US-supplied UH-1H Hueys, 9 ex-UAEAF armed Gazelles and 4 Robinson R-44s used for training. The LAF is also currently in the process of refurbishing some of the helicopters remaining in its inventory since the 1980s and 1990s, when they were placed in storage. These include some 3 Gazelles, 5 Pumas, and 7 AB-212 Twin Hueys. It is hoped that the refurbished helicopters would be put back in service sometime early in the new year, alongside 5 Hawker Hunter fighters and 3 Bulldog primary trainers, also drawn back into operational service from LAF storage, pending the eventual supply of more modern equipment including multi-role fighters ( the F-5E Tiger, the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the Mirage-2000 have been frequently mentioned as possible contenders ), in addition to a new type of jet advanced trainer-fighter type, such as the BAe Hawk or the Aero L-159 Albatross.
 
MOE777
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:04 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:27 am

Good news if the Lebanese military end up with AH-1 cobra's, however Israel will apply enormous pressure on the U.S to prevent any such deal, but hopefully things work out.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:46 pm

(Quoting Moe777)

You are absolutely correct.

Israel has indeed been applying a lot of pressure , not only to prevent the supply of the Cobras, but also against any meaningful modernization of the Lebanese Armed Forces.

This has been going on now for quite a while, and it does sound rather strange, but it is quite difficult to understand how the Israelis always call upon the Lebanese Government to stand up to the activities of Hizbullah and other armed militias operating in the country, and at the same time do their best to obstruct supplying the Lebanese Armed Forces with the means they urgently need to be able to do so.

Not only this Israeli position is practically the same as that of Syria, but it also comes at a time when Hizbullah enjoys uninterrupted flow of all sorts of weapon systems from both Iran and Damascus, including SAM systems, ATGWs, anti-ship missiles and several medium and long-range SSMs.

However, it seems that the US Administration has finally come to the conclusion that the Lebanese Military should be re-enforced and re-equipped , despite Israeli objections.

It is hoped that the supply of the Cobras will be part of this process, which will also include other urgently needed equipment ( not only from the US, but from other sources too ), such as jet fighters and trainers, more support helicopters, MBTs and AFVs, as well as munitions and spare parts.
 
User avatar
keesje
Posts: 13505
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:02 am

Quoting Moe777 (Reply 114):
Good news if the Lebanese military end up with AH-1 cobra's, however Israel will apply enormous pressure on the U.S to prevent any such deal, but hopefully things work out.

I think it is in the interest of Israel that Beirut stabilizes and has a broadly supported (may I say democratic) government that can handle its violent minorities if neccessary..

It's about time the families in Beirut get some peace and prosperty..



[Edited 2008-09-30 03:05:31]
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:58 am

Many thanks to Keesje. Your observations are spot on.
And what a beautiful picture of the Lebanese coast on the Med, showing Beirut and the mountains behind it.
Compliments all round.
 
wvsuperhornet
Posts: 517
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:18 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:15 am

Quoting Hunterson (Reply 115):
However, it seems that the US Administration has finally come to the conclusion that the Lebanese Military should be re-enforced and re-equipped , despite Israeli objections.

It is hoped that the supply of the Cobras will be part of this process, which will also include other urgently needed equipment ( not only from the US, but from other sources too ), such as jet fighters and trainers, more support helicopters, MBTs and AFVs, as well as munitions and spare parts.

I dont know what Israel is worried about I doubt any equipment sold to lebanon will be as capable as the equipment we sell to Israel. 6-8 cobras and a few F-16's which I am sure will all be basic packages enough to do the job they need them to do, will not be a significant threat to the Israel airforce.

[Edited 2008-10-01 00:16:06]
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:05 am

( Quoting Wvsuperhornet )

This is precisely the point.
It obviously does not take a genious to realize that the Lebanese Air Force, and indeed the Lebanese Armed Forces in general, have never, and will never constitute a threat to the IDF.

Lebanon has never had in the past, nor the present , any quarrel with Israel. The situation changed only after the Israelis decided to invade and occupy Lebanese lands in the south of the country as a response to the activities of the PLO during the 1970s and 1980s.

Those activities were as unacceptable, at the time , to the Lebanese Govrnment and local population as they were to the Israelis. Unfortunately, the Lebanese authorities in those days were incapable of putting an end to those activities , mainly as a result of the weakness of their armed forces..

When the Israelis invaded , in 1978 and again in 1982, a lot of the local population welcomed them as saviours from the PLO and other associate militias. But when the Israeli presence turned into an unwanted occupation, and with Syria and Iran quickly filling the vacuum left by the departure of the PLO and its allies, the conflict took a different guise.

This time, it became Hizbullah, backed by Syria and Iran, against the Israeli occupation.,
a situation which the Lebanese Govt. tried so hard to diffuse by repeatedly calling for an Israeli withdrawal and deployment of UN Peacekeeping Forces along the borders.

The situation now provides a huge opportunity for such an arrangement to be reinforced and secured. There is a substantial UN presence along the international borders, operating in coordination with the Lebanese Army under Security Council resolution1701. And while Hizbullah has continued to receive huge amounts of Iranian and Syrian military backing , the border region has remained remarkably quiet, thanks to the presence of UNIFIL forces and the Lebanese Army.

What needs to be done now is to help the Lebanese Army by providing it with its urgent needs and requirements, in order to enable it to perform its duties as the the sole authority on the ground , both on the borders, and all over Lebanese territory. This also means extending assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces to enable them to stand up to any potential challenge that they might face in that task, whether from Hizbullah or any other armed militia in the country.

That is precicely why supplying the LAF with a few Cobras, or F-16s, or Mirage-2000s, or some additional MBTs and AFVs , will never be a threat to the security of Israel, but a way to establish Lebanese legitimate Govrenment authority over the country, something that should by definition be in the iinterest of all the neighbours of Lebanon, including Israel.,
 
cf105arrow
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:47 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:19 am

Yesterday, for the fist time in years a Hawker Hunter from the LAF flew over the Bekaa valley. It took of from Rayak Lebanese Air Force Base and flew for an hour before returning to the same base.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:58 pm

This is great news. It would not be an exaggeration to describe it as a historic flight which confirms the ability of the Lebanese Air Force to refurbish and bring back to active service its Hunters after nearly 15 years of storage, and to do that single-handed and with no outside help what-so-ever.It also restores the fixed-wing jet fighter capability of the airforce after such a long absence.

It is widely believed that there are currently 3 active Hunters ( 2 single-seaters and 1 two-seater), and there are 2-3 other units ( 2 single-seaters and 1 two-seater) which are currently in process of being reactivated , making a possible total of 5-6 aircraft.

These would constitute a useful combat jet component which would serve to train, refresh and familiarize pilots with fixed wing combat operations and tactics, something which the LAF lacked since the mid-1990s.

Of course, no one believes that the rejuvenated Hunters will be anything other than an interim measure pending a more suitable long-term replacement, ideally equipping the LAF with a squadron of more modern fighters, such as the Mirage-2000 or the F-16 Falcon, or even the MiG-29.

But, whatever the long-term plans may be, it is a most welcome development to see the great Hunter back in Lebanese skies and in Lebanese colours.

welcome back old friend, and congratulations to the LAF on their achievement.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:41 am

This is really exciting for both Lebanese Air Force and Hunter fans alike. The Hunters have been making different flying sorties over the capital for the past 10 days or so.
Here's a short footage of the action posted by Zaher on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4yACJoGW-A
 
SkyyKat
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:58 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:00 pm

What roles can these Hunters play in military ops? Do they have weapons systems, bombs, missles?

Can they be effective in A2A with any surrounding nation? Or is bringing these great old birds back just a sign of forward progress?
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:51 am

( Re SkyyKat)

Well, first of all, and obviously from a Lebanese Air Force point of view, these Hunters are most certainly better than nothing.

For nearly 15 years the LAF was deprived of a fixed-wing capability. It was simply due to political factors, and with no military or operational sense what-so-ever, that the LAF had to retire all its fixed-wing aircraft shortly after the end of the civil war in the country in the early 1990s. By 1994-5, all the then serving Hunters, Fouga Magisters and Bulldogs were put in storage, although most if not all of them at the time were still in perfect flyable condition.

When the political situation in the country changed in 2005 , after the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanese territiries, it soon became clear that Lebanon does need a viable airforce, with a functioning combat capability, both fixed-wing and helicopter based, regardless of how small and limited such a capability may be.

The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to achieve that capability was to re-activate some of the equipment which had been put in storage years earlier, and most fortunately, had been kept in immaculate condition during that period, thanks to the care and efforts of the LAF crews and technicians.

That is how the plans to re-activate the Hunters emerged originally, and that is also how the LAF is currently working on refurbishing and re-activating other types which have been stored during that period, including the Bulldog trainers, and the Gazelle, AB-212 and Puma helicopters.

As for the Hunters, certainly no one thinks that they will be the ultimate equipment which will provide the LAF with its combat needs in the future. This is simply an interim step, which could serve to re-familiarize the airforce with fixed-wing jet operations , and play a valuable role as somekind of a "conversion unit " pending the availability of more modern equipment. hopefully in the next year or so.

Meanwhile, these vintage fighters still have some potency in the kind of operational role which the LAF has for them, mainly providing close air support for army units, and patrolling Lebanese airspace and coastal waters. It is believed that the LAF still has reasonable stocks of weapon systems for its Hunters, including 250kg and 500kg bombs, 68mm rocket pods and 3 inch (76.2mm) rockets, as well as their 30-mm Aden guns.

Of course, these Hunters will not be intended, nor expected , to be engaging Israeli F-16s or Syrian MiG-29s , and hopefully they will never have to do so during their renewed sevice with the LAF. Equally, there is no doubt that many Lebanese like to see their airforce equipped one day soon with a few F-16s or Mirage-2000s or even MiG-29s of its own.

But what is equally certain is that for these Lebanese, it was a happy and proud occasion to see the beautiful Hunters flying once again over Beirut during the celebrations of Independance Day on 22 Nov.

It must have been a real treat for anyone who was lucky enough to experience it.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:46 pm

Dear All,

Just a brief note to let you know that there are now some really brilliant photos of the newly re-activated Lebanese Air Force Hunters by our friend Vatche on www.lebaneseairforce.info.

They are real beauties and they show the lovely birds in full flow.

With thanks and compliments to Vatche on his great work. I think he is doing everyone a big favour.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:27 am

Dear friends,

I'm also adding a few photos of the Hunters here on Airliners.net.
Here are the first 2 and more are coming up soo.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vatche Mitilian
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vatche Mitilian



Regards.
 
User avatar
RJAF
Posts: 217
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RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:35 pm

Wow...great effort Vatche! Finally, Lebanon's hunters are back to life. I raise my hat to all those who participated in making this a reality. So, what is the plan for the Hunters? How long will they soldier on? Who's flying them (pilot experience and training)? How tough was it to bring them back to life again?
Chance favors the prepared mind
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:52 pm



Quoting AF" class=quote target=_blank>RJAF (Reply 127):
Wow...great effort Vatche! Finally, Lebanon's hunters are back to life. I raise my hat to all those who participated in making this a reality. So, what is the plan for the Hunters? How long will they soldier on? Who's flying them (pilot experience and training)? How tough was it to bring them back to life again?

It was a real treat that day at the Rayak AF base, to watch the Hunters in action and being able to capture their glorious comeback.
I'm just guessing here and I think they will fly as long as they have the spares to be able to maintain them. Maybe if they get new jets, they may go to "early" re-retirement once again.
The pilots are the same Hunter pilots from a decade ago, very fun group of people, quite excited with a big smile on their faces.
Bringing back took over a year and a few months so it must have been tough. It may also have set a record here. Is there any other type that has been brought back to service after 15 years of retirement. I mean ever!!!
 
OD720
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:35 am

Here's another one:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vatche Mitilian



Enjoy!
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:55 pm

Just Fantastic. Absolute Beauty !!

Many thanks to OD720, and to the brave men and women of the Lebanese Air Force for providing us with the opportunity to enjoy this sight once again.
 
AirMalta
Posts: 400
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:02 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:22 pm

Hello Vatche
Its Awesome to see them again.I wish to come there to shoot some pics of them!!
Malcolm
 
bennett123
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:40 pm

Given that 1 T66 is being returned to service, hopefully some new pilots can be treated as the original pilots must be getting mature.

On replacement in front line service, I hope that they can continue in the training role as happened in the UK and India.
 
bennett123
Posts: 9140
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:42 pm

With 1 T66 being returned to service, we should get some new blood.

When they leave front line service, a new career in training may lie ahead.
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:17 pm



Quoting AirMalta (Reply 131):
Hello Vatche
Its Awesome to see them again.I wish to come there to shoot some pics of them!!
Malcolm

Hey Malcolm,

Long time no hear. You should come, it's like a spotters goldmine  Smile

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 132):
Given that 1 T66 is being returned to service, hopefully some new pilots can be treated as the original pilots must be getting mature.

That's the main idea behind making the T.66 airworthy. It's quite old, delivered in 1966. The single seater F.70As which are now airworthy were delivered between 1975-77.
 
BA
Posts: 10501
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:40 pm



Quoting OD720 (Reply 134):
The single seater F.70As which are now airworthy were delivered between 1975-77.

Were these delivered brand new? If not, who were the previous operators and when were they built?

Beautiful pictures by the way!

I have to say, I am stunned that they have been brought back into service...
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:30 am



Quoting BA (Reply 135):
Were these delivered brand new? If not, who were the previous operators and when were they built?

Here's the full listing of the latest delivery from Reply 6 of this thread:

L-280ex-WW598Purchased by HSA, as G-9-424. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 08-12-75.
L-281ex-XF457Purchased by HSA, as G-9-422. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 08-12-75.
L-282ex-WW594Purchased by HSA, as G-9-423. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 08-12-75.
L-283ex-XF430Purchased by HSA, as G-9-426. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 17-05-77
L-284ex-XJ644Purchased by HSA, as G-9-427. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 17-05-77.
L-285ex-XJ640Purchased by HSA, as G-9-425. Converted to Lebanese FGA Mk.70. Delivered 01-06-77.



All refurbished and delivered by the RAF.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:12 am

Just to add a few notes to the info provided by my dear friend OD720, and in response to

the question by BA from the US :


In fact, the last batch of 6 Hunters received by the Lebanese Air Force during 1975-77, as stated by OD-720 earlier, was comprised of 6 single-seat FGA-9s, rebuilt and refurbished "as new" by HSA from RAF stocks. They were designated FGA-70A to distinguish them from the previous batch of Hunters delivered to the LAF during 1965-66. That one included 4 single-seaters, all rebuilt and refurbished by HSA from ex-Belgian AF stocks, upgraded to FGA-9 standard, and designated FGA-70. That batch also included 3 two-seaters from ex-RAF stocks, designated T-66C.

Prior to that, the LAF had received an original batch of 6 single-seat F-6s from ex-RAF stocks,all rebuilt as new, and delivered during 1958-59.


The original F-6s were serialized in LAF service as L-170/171/172/173/174/175. While the follow-up single-seaters were given serials L-176/177/178/179, the 2-seaters were serialed as L-280/281/282.

L-282 was donated to the Royal Jordanian Air Force in 1968. And after the delivery of the 3rd batch in the late-70s, all the remaining Hunters in service were re-serialized in the L-27+ range, hence L-171 becoming L-271.. etc. The remaining 2-seaters got serials following those of the single-seaters, hence L-280 became L-286 and L-281 became L-287.

It is now believed that the Hunters still available to the LAF include at least the following:

L-271 ( F-6 in the LAF museum at Rayak AFB ).
L-275 ( F-6 )
L-276 (FGA-70 )
L-280 (FGA-70A )
L-282 (FGA-70A )
L-284 (FGA-70A )
L-286 (T-66C )
L-287 ( T-66C )

The Hunters which had been brought back to service out of the above are 4 aircraft which include 3 FGA-70A single-seaters L-280/282/284, and 1 T-66C 2-seater L-286.
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:01 am

Dear Friends,

It seems that, at long last, the Lebanese Air Force will be getting the modern equipment it so richly deserves.

The Lebanese Defence Minister Elias Murr announced on 16/12/2008 that an agreement has been reached with Russia to supply Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 ( Fulcrum ) fighters. The statement was also confirmed by the Russian Defence Minister, who reiterated the willingness of Moscow to supply the Lebanese with their defence needs.

Mr. Murr is currently on an official visit to Moscow with a shopping list for new equipment required by the various branches of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The list is believed to include tanks, artilliery and air defence systems, in deals which might reach an estimated total of 1 billion USD.

It is believed that Lebanon is also interested in acquiring Russian-made helicopters, possibly including a number of Mil Mi-35 attack gunships.


The news comes at a time when the US has also made public its intentions to help Lebanon rebuild and modrnize its Armed Forces, including the supply of up to 60 M-60A3 MBTs, as well as the possible delivery to the LAF of up to 8 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

These new developments constitute a major, indeed radical, rejuvenation in re-equipping and modernizing the LAF. They come shortly after the LAF has succeeded in putting back into operational service 4 Hawker Hunter fighter jets brought back from storage, and it seems certain that the new MiG-29s are intended as logical replacements for these aircraft, providing the LAF with its first supersonic new generation fighter equipment since the delivery of 12 Mirage-3EL/DL fighters from France back in the late-1960s.

This is obviously fantastic news for the Lebanese Air Force and its fans all over the world, and , no doubt, many people will be waiting to see the MiG-29 flying in LAF colours hopefully some time soon.


It will also be interesting to see whether the LAF will select the Cobra or the Mi-35 , or possibly both, to meet its future requirement for a new attack helicopter.
 
MOE777
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:04 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:47 am

Great news indeed, would these be the Mig-29SMT, or the earlier version Mig-29A?
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:46 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:27 pm

This MiG-29 anouncement took everyone by surprise here. It was quite unexpected. If this is fully excersized, it will be the first eastern made equipment entering service with our air force.

What we need now are some propeller and advanced jet trainers and we can finally retire the long serving Hunters.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vatche Mitilian
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vatche Mitilian

 
User avatar
LAXintl
Posts: 24008
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:06 pm

Looks like Russia is gifting the Mig-29s to Lebanon. Talk about a propaganda

Quote:
Russia 'to give' Lebanon war jets
17 December 2008

Russia said the jets would help to ensure stability in the region
Moscow is to give 10 MiG-29 fighter jets to Lebanon free of charge, says Russia's state news agency Interfax.

The head of the Russia's defence cooperation body, Mikhail Dmitriyev, said the consignment was "a form of military and technical assistance".

Delivery of the jets to Lebanon will also be paid for by the Russians.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7788351.stm

Anyhow - should make for some good target practice by the IAF in coming years.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
BA
Posts: 10501
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:31 pm



Quoting OD720 (Reply 140):
This MiG-29 anouncement took everyone by surprise here. It was quite unexpected. If this is fully excersized, it will be the first eastern made equipment entering service with our air force.

This is excellent news indeed, can't wait to see pictures of them, that's your job Vatche.  Smile

I know Defense Minister Elias Murr is also negotiating with Russia to buy anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense systems as well as tanks.

I'm glad Lebanon is stepping out of its bubble and not limiting itself to just U.S.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
kaitak
Posts: 9764
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:57 pm



Quoting BA (Reply 142):
I'm glad Lebanon is stepping out of its bubble and not limiting itself to just U.S.

But realistically, would the US ever sell military equipment to Lebanon? The Israeli lobby would have a fit.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 141):
Anyhow - should make for some good target practice by the IAF in coming years.

My thoughts exactly; I'm sure that the IDF has had plenty of opportunity to model potential combat situations with the MiG-29, either "against" the Luftwaffe in US "Red Flag" exercises or in actual combat against Syria. There are so many factors which make the effective use of these aircraft almost impossible; the Israelis will have far better early warning systems, better pilot training (and experience) and of course, any possible base for these aircraft would be within easy reach of Israeli missiles; I think it would be a major achievement if they actually got airborne in a combat situation.
 
BA
Posts: 10501
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:55 pm

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 143):
But realistically, would the US ever sell military equipment to Lebanon? The Israeli lobby would have a fit.

Modernizing Lebanon's armed forces is a priority of the current pro-Western government and so far U.S. military aid has been limited to basic military equipment to Lebanon, mainly limited to trucks, Humvees, and ammunition. The U.S. has recently offered to supply Lebanon with M60A3 tanks which are antiquated which is why I'm not sure if Lebanon is going to accept them.

Military aid offers were made by Russia as far back as 2005, but were turned down by the Lebanese government in order to not alienate the U.S., but this policy has now changed because of the U.S.' reluctance to supply Lebanon with heavy weaponry for reasons you mentioned.

Lebanon's Defense Minister is negotiating with his Russian counterpart to supply Lebanon with anti-aircraft and anti-tank defense systems as well as modern tanks.

This MiG-29 deal was a surprise and unexpected.

[Edited 2008-12-17 14:16:48]
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
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Spacepope
Posts: 4496
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:46 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 141):
Anyhow - should make for some good target practice by the IAF in coming years.

Lebanon's military is smart enough not to take on the IDF. This deal is more of a slap in the face to Syria than anything...
The last of the famous international playboys
 
hunterson
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 2:02 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:44 am

Many thanks to Spacepope for the perfect reply to LAXintl.
Lebanon has never been interested , nor has it ever initiated or instigated aggression against any of its neighbours. Indeed , it has always been the victim of such aggression., be it from Israel or Syria.
The fact that the Lebanese Government has finally decided to embark on a reasonable and serious effort to rebuild and modenize the legitimate Armed Forces of the country should be applauded by anyone who is interested in maintainig security and stability in the region.
The Israelis have always complained that the Lebanese authorities do not do enough to control their territories and borders from incursions by such groups as Hizbullah and the various Palestinian organizations. Yet, every time Lebanon embarks on an effort to enhance its military capabilities Israel ( and Syria of course ) join forces to block it or derail it, simply because the two "neighbours" have an equal interest in keeping Lebanon as a convenient proxy theatre of operations, and a scapegoat.
So, if LAXintl. thinks that the new Lebanese MiG-29s will be "good target practice " for the IDFAF, then perhaps he should better ask why the same did not apply to the Syrian MiG-29s which have been there for many years ??

No one in Lebanon, or outside it, would be in his or her right mind, if they were to think for a moment that 10 MiG-29s will change the military balance between Lebanon and its troublesome neighbours., just as restoring 4 Hawker Hunters back to service was ever intended to turn Lebanon into a regional superpower.

But, it is a vital move aimed at restoring the confidence and the self-respect of a nation that does not want more than defending its borders and territories , and above all, its independence and soverignty. Is there any one who is against that ?

Well. if there are, then tough luck. And thanks to Russia, and the US, and the UAE, and Jordan, and Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, and Germany, and Belgium and France, and to every other country that has come forward to help this small, resilient and beautiful nation stand up and be counted. Lebanon and the Lebanese deserve that from the world.
 
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LAXintl
Posts: 24008
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:39 am



Quoting Hunterson (Reply 146):
So, if LAXintl. thinks that the new Lebanese MiG-29s will be "good target practice "

Because sooner or later, there exist the possibility that Israel will strike Lebanon again, and hence its bases and any planes parked there could be targets.

In practical terms of course the Lebanese AF is no match for Israel however this does not mean Israel cant or wont make target practice out of them when it becomes necessary.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Jackonicko
Posts: 474
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:47 pm

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:46 pm

The Lebanese won't hold back the might of the IDF/AF, of course, but ten MiG-29s will complicate Israeli planning if they decide to undertake another aggression, and might even take a few of the aggressors with them. They'll also be able to impose a price if Israeli recce aircraft decide to intrude....

Which is the whole point.
 
BA
Posts: 10501
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Lebanese Air Force

Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:01 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 147):
Because sooner or later, there exist the possibility that Israel will strike Lebanon again, and hence its bases and any planes parked there could be targets.

Doesn't matter, what you're saying isn't new. Lebanon has been bombed by Israel numerous times, 2006 wasn't the first time. In 1968 (in fact, the 40th anniversary is in just 10 days), the Israelis destroyed two-thirds of MEA's fleet on the ground in BEY including a brand new 707. The airline however was able to quickly recover despite the heavy losses.

Sadly it's become routine, but the Lebanese have the will and resolve to recover quickly. Material things can be replaced.

If the Mig-29s get blown up by the Israelis, they can be replaced. Remember that Lebanon went through a 15-year civil war from 1975 to 1990 exhausting much of its military arsenal in the process, but it kept replenishing it and is in the process of its biggest replenishment since the 1980's.

Sadly, the replenishment of military arsenals of militias during the civil war was one of the factors that prolonged the war.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran

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