Tuesday, April 21, 2009

U.S. Delivers the “Caravan” Combat Air Support Aircraft to the Lebanese Armed Forces

The United States delivered a "Caravan" combat air support aircraft to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) on April 15.  This aircraft is the latest equipment support delivery for the LAF in the ongoing U.S. military assistance program to Lebanon.  The U.S. program assists the LAF as it protects Lebanon's borders and the Lebanese people.  The United States has already provided $90.7 million to the LAF in 2009.  President Obama's administration has requested that the U.S. Congress approve additional assistance in the amount of $98.4 million.  The total amount of assistance for the LAF in 2009 would be $189.1 million.
The "Caravan" will be an integral component of the LAF's "Sensor to Shooter" system which also incorporates the "Raven" unmanned intelligence aircraft as well as other LAF ground, air, and naval resources.  The "Caravan" provides precision 'air to ground' support to the LAF particularly in urban environments.  It is equipped with advanced day and night sensors and "Hell fire" missiles, the same type used on the U.S. "Predator" combat air support drone.  The "Caravan" is in use by the Iraqi Air Force where it has been successful in the counter-insurgency campaign in Iraq.
The U.S. Departments of Defense and State worked to expedite delivery of the "Caravan" and other military items to show steadfast support for the LAF and the Lebanese people.   The security assistance program to Lebanon, which includes equipment and training, will enable the LAF to fulfill its mission to protect Lebanese citizens, combat militants, implement UNSCR 1701 and extend government control over Lebanese territory.

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