The U.S. State Department approved a possible $462 million sale of A-29 Super Tucano airplanes and associated equipment, parts and logistical support to Lebanon. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement on Tuesday that the proposed sale would help the country protect itself from internal and border security threats.
According to the agency, the Lebanese government had asked for a possible sale of six A-29 Super Tucano Aircraft, eight ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispensing Systems, 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems, two Missile Launch Detection Systems and a non-SAASM Embedded Global Positioning System/Initial Navigation System. Along with this, Lebanon had also requested spare and repair parts, flight testing, maintenance support, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, ferry support, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services.
“The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Jun 5, 2015,” the statement said, adding: "Implementation of this proposed sale will not require any additional U.S. Government or U.S. contractor personnel in Lebanon. However, periodic travel will be required on a temporary basis for program reviews and technical support."
In June, the DSCA announced the possible sale of AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles to the Middle Eastern country for $146 million, Sputnik News reported. In February, the U.S. delivered over $25 million worth of military aid to the Lebanese army to help the country fight Islamist militant groups operating from its border with Syria.
The Lebanese security forces and Iran-backed Shiite political group Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., are currently trying to eradicate Jabhat al-Nusra, an al Qaeda branch in Syria, and the Islamic State group from the northeastern Lebanese city of Arsal. While some reports say that the Lebanese security forces and Hezbollah members are not fighting together, other sources say that both the groups are sharing intelligence.