Lebanese Air Force - Combat History

Combat History

The Lebanese Air Force has a long history operating Hawker Hunter jets since 1958. A Lebanese Hawker Hunter shot down an Israeli jet over Kfirmishki in early sixties, its pilot was captured by the Lebanese Armed Forces. One Lebanese Hawker Hunter was shot down on the first day of the Six-Day War by the Israeli Air Force. The Hawker Hunters have not flown any combat sorties since September 17, 1983. This was at a time when the French and Americans were rebuilding the Lebanese army. Three F.Mk.70s were made airworthy, and resumed combat operations on September 15. Because the main airfield, Rayak Air Base, had been shelled by Syrian forces, the Hunters had to operate from an airfield in Byblos. The Hunters were finally grounded in 1994 after a minor accident with one of the T.66 trainers during landing and the remaining 8 were stored in Rayak. The last loss took place in 1989 near Batroun during routine training, when the undercarriage failed to lower, leading the jet to crash. The pilot ejected safely from the doomed jet and landed in the sea, where he was promptly rescued by the Syrian army, which then handed him over to Suleiman Frangieh, who in turn handed him over to the Lebanese Army at the al-Madfoun crossing.

During operations in the Nahr el-Bared camp in North Lebanon, lacking any airworthy fixed-wing strike aircraft, the Lebanese army modified several UH-1H helicopters to permit the carrying of 500 pound Mark 82 and 1000 pound Mark 83 bombs (all unguided iron bombs, also known as dumb bombs) as well as Matra SNEB 68 mm rocket pods (taken from stored Hawker Hunters). Special mounting pads engineered by the Lebanese army were attached to each UH-1 Huey on the sides and belly to carry the bombs. The air force, in collaboration with the engineering regiment, developed and used two dumb bombs variants, the 250 kg LAF-GS-ER2 and the 400 kg LAF-GS-ER3. Usually, helicopters cannot bomb in this method as compared to ground attack aircraft, this became one of the rare moments in history during which helicopters were used in such a way. The Lebanese army also made extensive use of Aérospatiale Gazelles equipped with the Euromissile HOT missile and machine guns pods.

Read more about this topic:  Lebanese Air Force

Other articles related to "combat history":

SS Heavy Panzer Battalion 103 - Combat History
... The 103rd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion over its history lost 39 tanks destroyed 500 enemy tanks a kill ratio of 12.82. ...
T-44 - Service History - Combat History
... World War II – briefly fielded in 1944–45, but kept out of combat Hungarian Revolution – not known to have seen combat. ...

Famous quotes containing the words history and/or combat:

    To a surprising extent the war-lords in shining armour, the apostles of the martial virtues, tend not to die fighting when the time comes. History is full of ignominious getaways by the great and famous.
    George Orwell (1903–1950)

    If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections.... Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.
    Newt Gingrich (b. 1943)