There was a time when US military assistance meant a steady supply of F-5 fighters and UH-1 helicopters. Not surprisingly, unmanned aircraft are getting in on the act these days. Now the US is to supply the Lebanese Armed Forces with 12 AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven UAVs.
Lebanese air force personnel are already in the US training on the hand-launched Raven, which will be used to deter rocket launches from southern Lebanon into Israel. The assistance package, announced ahead of June elections, includes a single armed Cessna Caravan to give the air force an air support capability. Other arms in the deal include tanks, howitzers, guns, ammo and zodiac boats.
Now the US military's standard small unmanned aircraft, Raven has also been sold to Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.