The Lebanese military announced on April 3 that it had received six ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), valued at $11 million, from the US.
The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude UAV that’s equipped with a day\night electro-optical system. The UAV has a range of 100km and can stay in the air for more than 24 hours.
The U.S. embassy confirmed the delivery of the ScaneEagle UAVs to the Lebanese military via Twitter and said that the shipment was a part of a pre-agreed aid.
“The US continues its steady delivery of equipment and training to the Lebanese Armed Forces,” a short press release by the embassy reads.
The new ScanEagle UAVs will boost the reconnaissance capabilities of the Lebanese military, which also has six AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven mini drones gifted by the U.S. in 2009.
The U.S. claims that its aid for the Lebanese military is aimed at securing Lebanon from terrorist threats in the region. However, many Lebanese experts believe that the US is trying to challenge the legitimacy of Hezbollah and undrmine its influence inside Lebanon with this move.