BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army received four A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States Monday, the Army announced as the planes flew over Beirut and other areas in Lebanon, following their departure from Cyprus. They were received “for the benefit of the Lebanese Army,” read an Army statement released on the occasion , marking the second such delivery since last year.
In October 2017, the Army received the first two of an anticipated six A-29 Super Tucanos – turboprop light attack aircraft designed for close air support and reconnaissance missions. At the time, Army sources said the delivery would be followed by four more aircraft in May.
The two A-29s donated by the United States last year are now based out of Hamat Air Base just north of the coastal city of Batroun.
Originally built by Brazilian manufacturer Embraer to survey Amazonian territory, the aircraft was later weaponized. There are now over 200 Super Tucanos operated by 10 countries, many in Latin America and Africa.
The planes represent an upgrade from the few other fixed-wing aircraft used by the Lebanese Air Force in recent years.
Delivery of the four planes Monday came as Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun met with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard and U.S. Senator Cory Booker in Yarze, where the three discussed the “general situation” in Lebanon, as well as bilateral military cooperation.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 29, 2018, on page 2.