On February 13, the U.S. delivered a shipment of Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets, valued at more than $16 million, to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
The rockets, which are a part of the U.S. military aid for Lebanon, will be used to arm the A-29 Super Tucano warplanes of the Lebanese Air Force (LAF). The warplanes were also purchased through the U.S. aid program. The LAF received the first two Super Tucanos on October 31 of 2017.
“Today’s delivery demonstrates the U.S. government’s firm and steady commitment to support to the Lebanese Armed Forces in their capacity as the sole, legitimate defender of Lebanon,” U.S. embassy in Lebanon said in an official press release.
The APKWS is a design conversion of Hydra 70 unguided rockets with a guidance kit to turn them into precision-guided munitions (PGMs). The rocket is guided by laser beam riding and has a range of 1,100 to 5,000 meters.
The U.S. says that it has invested over $2 billion in the LAF, since 2005. The aid is supposedly aimed at securing Lebanon from terrorist threats in the region. However, many Lebanese experts believe that Washington is trying to challenge the legitimacy of Hezbollah inside Lebanon with this move.