French Navy Frigate and Lebanese Air Force Super Tucano Conducted Joint Air-Sea Exercise

The French Navy Frigate FREMM multi-mission Auvergne (D654) conducted a joint air-sea exercise with the Lebanese Armed Forces Super Tucano. After a series of tactical evolutions at sea, two Super-Tucano counter-insurgency aircraft conducted cannon fire on a target set up by FREMM Auvergne. France provides 14 million euros’ ($17 million) worth of aid to the Lebanese army, to include training and equipment such as anti-tank missiles. The aid is part of efforts to strengthen Lebanon’s institutions and boost security amid growing internal political tensions.

Auvergne (D654) is an Aquitaine-class multi-purpose frigates of the French Navy. The Aquitaine class were developed from the FREMM (Frégate européenne multi-mission; Fregata europea multi-missione)) multipurpose frigate program. Auvergne was developed as part of a joint Italian-French (Fincantieri and Naval Group) program known as FREMM, which was implemented to develop a new class of frigates for use by various European navies. Constructed from 2012. On 2 September 2015, the frigate Auvergne was launched.

The Pentagon first proposed to provide to Lebanon a contract for 10 EMB-314s in 2010. Six Tucanos with 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons Systems (APKWS) and eight ALE-47 countermeasures dispensing systems went to Lebanon via the US LAS program, but financed by Saudi Arabia at US$462 million. The first two were delivered in October 2017, with four more in June 2018. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) once operated Hawker Hunter and Dassault Mirage combat jets, and a few of the former were returned to service seven years ago.

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