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US to provide Lebanon with six MD 530G light attack choppers

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - Lebanon
 
 
US to provide Lebanon with six MD 530G light attack choppers
 
The United States yesterday announced plan to donate new MD 530G light attack helicopters to Lebanon, the US Embassy in Beirut released. "With General Votel, we discussed with the Prime Minister and earlier today with the Army Commander, three new U.S. Department of Defense programs that we are announcing today," declared US Ambassador in Lebanon Elizabeth Richard and Commander of the U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel on December 13, 2017.
     
US to provide Lebanon with six MD 530G light attack choppers 640 001A MD 530G light attack helicopter
(Credit: MD Helicopters)
     
These systems — valued at more than $120 million — include six new MD 530G light attack helicopters, six new Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles, and leading edge communication and night vision devices.

"This advanced equipment will help the Army build on its steady strong capability to conduct border security and counterterrorism operations and importantly to defend the country and the people of Lebanon," the Embassy added.

The United States has given the Lebanese Armed Forces more than $1.5 billion in assistance over the past ten years, the Embassy has said previously. In 2017, Lebanon received the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft from the US, which also announced it would deliver 32 M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to the LAF.

The six MD 530Gs will give Lebanon its first first attack helicopters. They will bolster the Lebanese Air Force's close air support, precision targeting, surveillance and intelligence gathering capabilities.

The MD 530G is the latest addition to the MD 500 family of military helicopters. The MD 530G incorporates the FN Herstal Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP) housing a 12.7 mm (.50 caliber) FN M3P machine gun, Dillon Aero M134D-H Gatling Gun, and Raytheon TALON 2.75-inch (70 mm) Laser-Guided Rocket. It is also fitted with L-3 Wescam MX-10 series sensor and LASER designator.