The United States formally handed over a third Cessna 208B Caravan turboprop aircraft (L-403) on 19 December that can launch AGM-114 Hellfire laser-guided missiles to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
"This Cessna that we see here today will be equipped with Hellfire missiles and a day-time/night-time targeting system," US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard said during the handover ceremony held at Beirut Air Base. "It will help the LAF support ground troops, combat extremist groups, and keep Lebanon's borders secure."
The US Embassy in Beirut added that the aircraft was part of a USD30 million package that includes maintenance support and training.
Sometimes referred to as AC-208 Combat Caravans, the Cessnas were equipped with an electo-optical surveillance system, the Hellfire-launching capability, countermeasures, and communications equipment by the US company Orbital ATK, which has delivered similarly modified aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force.
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