Lebanese Air Force


History Page 7



Cessna 208B Grand Caravan


For over a decade, the Lebanese Air Force was left with only a helicopter force with total lack of fixed wing aircraft.  As stated in the previous pages, the Hawker Hunter fighters, Bulldog basic trainers and the Fouga Magister jet trainers were all stored and the Dassault Mirage III fighters were sold to Pakistan in 2000.  Seeking to re-establish its fixed wing force back, the air force succeeded in returning the Hawker Hunters back into active service in November 2008 and work was commenced on returning the Bulldogs and the Fouga Magisters back.  The search for newer aircraft was also on the air forceďż˝s active plans.



 US vice president Joseph Biden proudly displays the Hellfire missile on the newly delivered

Cessna 208B at the Beirut Air Force Base.

Photo copyright unknown.




The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan seen flying on a routine training mission.

Photo copyright Vatche Mitilian



The first of the new fixed wing aircraft came from the US which agreed to supply the Lebanese Air Force with 3 Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft, armed with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles.  The first of the 3 aircraft was delivered to the air force in May 2009.  The Grand Caravan is also equipped with an advanced MX-15 camera and can operate in all weather conditions.  The other 2 Cessna 208Bs are expected to be delivered during 2010 but the 2nd aircraft was only delivered after a long delay on August 8th, 2013.





The Cessna 208B taxiing at the Beirut Air Force base.  In the background, one of the 3 Sikorsky S-61N firefighting helicopters which were

lately bought and are currently operated by the Lebanese Air Force.

Photo copyright Joseph Barrak.




Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum (Cancelled)


In December 2008, the Russian Federation anounced that it will grant 10 Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters to the Lebanese Air Force.  According to early reports, Lebanon was supposed to fund some of the pilot training programs and the weapons system for these fighter.  

This order was cancelled on February 26, 2010 in favor of unspecified number of Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters.



A Lebanese Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum single seat interceptor.

Artwork by Gilson.




A Lebanese Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29 UB tandem seat trainer armed with a rocket pod.

Artwork by Gilson.






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