The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of Huey II rotary-wing aircraft and associated equipment to Lebanon.
Under the estimated $180m sale, Lebanon has requested a total of 18 Huey II rotary-wing aircraft, along with spare and repair parts, maintenance, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, as well as other related elements of logistics support.
The potential sale of Huey II aircraft is expected to enable Lebanon to address both current and future challenges posed by internal and border security threats, evacuations, search and rescue, and drug interdiction operations.
Specifically, the FMS is expected to boost Lebanon's recently purchased Huey II aircraft and replace its ageing fleet of UH-1H Iroquois aircraft, while providing the Lebanese Armed Forces with mission-capable assets.
Approved by the US State Department, the sale serves US national, economic and security interests by providing Lebanon with the mobility capabilities required to maintain internal security, enforce UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701 and also manage terrorist threats.
Bell Helicopter has been named as the prime contractor for the FMS programme.
A direct derivative of the combat-proven UH-1H series, Huey II features an Allison T53-L-703 turboshaft engine, a vibration-reduction system, infrared countermeasures and a night-vision-goggle (NVG) compatible cockpit, among other capabilities.
The helicopter is designed to perform a broad spectrum of missions, including troop transport into high altitudes, medical evacuation in hot conditions and VIP transport to and from remote bases.
The Huey II is currently used by the US Air Force to train pilots and also performs law enforcement missions in Latin America, as reported by Helicopter Magazine Europe.
Image: Huey II is a modified variant of the UH-1H Iroquois helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Ahunt.