France delivers first 48 Milan anti-tank missiles (ATGM) to Lebanese army

Defence & Security News - Lebanon
France delivers first 48 Milan anti-tank missiles (ATGM) to Lebanese army
French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, is today, April 20, at Beirut Air Base in Lebanon to deliver the first weapons as part of the Saudi Arabia $3 billion contract to help Lebanese armed forces in the fighting against Islamist militants. This first shipment includes 48 Milan anti-tank missiles.
France delivers first 48 Milan anti-tank missiles (ATGM) to Lebanese armyFrance Lebanese defence ministers during the delivery of Milan ATGM to Lebanese Army

"It is an honor for me to be with you today in Lebanon , the day of realization of supply of arms thanks to the Saudi donation." "In this critical context , it is essential that Lebanon's friends are mobilizing to ensure its safety. "I am pleased to se with us a Lebanese units that will benefit from these equipments and trainings", French Defence minister said.

The agreement was signed on November 4 during a ceremony in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in the presence of French, Lebanese and Saudi officials.

The deal will involve about 20 French companies and cover a mix of land, sea and air equipment, including armored vehicles, heavy artillery, anti-tank missiles, mortars and assault weapons, the source said

The military equipment and armoured vehicles military equipment that will be delivered by France to the Lebanese armed forces include vehicle-mounted Mistral short-range air-defence systems, 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, surplus VBC-90 armoured combat vehicles, CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzers, Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar helicopters, and Combattante FS56 fast attack long range craft armed with the Simbad air-defence systems and 20 mm Narwhal guns.

Intelligence and surveillance material, including drones, would also be sent and Paris would provide lightly-armed armed patrol boats as well as combat and transport helicopters, the source told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia sees itself as the defender of Sunni Islam in the region and wants to help beef up Lebanese security forces in the face of threats from both the jihadis and Lebanon's powerful Shi'ite movement Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia, which has already provided $1 billion in military aid to the Lebanese army, has recently taken part in U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants.