The US Government has delivered a new package of BGM-71 tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided (TOW) weapon system to the Lebanese Army.
In a statement, the army said the package comprising undisclosed number of TOW missiles and their launch pads were delivered at Beirut airport.
The missiles are an upgraded version of TOW Missile, BGM-71C or TOW II, which was built in 1983 with a range up to 3.75km.
A senior undisclosed Lebanese Army official was quoted by The Daily Star as saying that the new missiles will enhance the Lebanese Army’s ability to combat terrorism.
"It helps us a lot in the war against terrorism, it improves our firepower and fighting capabilities," the source added.
Manufactured by Raytheon, the BGM-71 TOW is a long-range anti-tank missile designed to defeat explosive reactive armour, bunkers, fortifications and amphibious landing craft, particularly in complex urban environments.
Featuring multi-mission TOW 2A, TOW 2B, TOW 2B Aero and TOW bunker buster missile variants, the weapon is a command line-of-sight system requiring the user to track the target until the missile hits, and can be launched from a range of ground systems, vehicles or helicopters.
Over the past decade, the US has reportedly donated more than $1bn in aid to the Lebanese Army, of which majority had been non-lethal equipment, including armoured personnel carriers, light aircraft and communication systems, among other systems.
More than 70 M198 155mm towed howitzers, as well as 26 million rounds of ammunition, including small, medium, and heavy artillery rounds, were supplied by US Government to the country in February 2014.
According to media reports, the Lebanese Army also received dozens of armoured high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles in January.
Extensively used by US forces in every conflict since the Vietnam War, TOW missile is also the preferred heavy assault anti-armour weapon system for Nato, coalition, and UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.
Image: US soldiers fire TOW missile from a Ford M151 military unit tactical truck. Photo: courtesy of redstone.army.mil / Profoss.