The authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have reportedly suspended a USD3 billion aid package to the Lebanese Armed Forces to buy weapon systems from French defence industry.

The KSA also cancelled the remainder of USD1 billion worth of equipment aimed to improve Lebanon’s internal security service.

France was intended to supply Lebanon with armoured troop carriers, CAESAR 155mm truck-mounted self-propelled artillery systems, patrol ships, tactical trucks, helicopters, and surveillance and communication equipment, as well as maintenance and training services.

However, a wide range of equipment was already supplied to Lebanon including MILAN anti-tank guided missiles, unmanned aircraft systems, communications and ammunition. The supply by France of Nexter Systems NARWHAL 20A naval remote-controlled weapon stations for existing Lebanese patrol ships, and wheeled armoured vehicles by Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) was eventually funded by the KSA.

KSA also funded the Lebanese acquisition of six Embraer Defesa e Segurança Super Tucano light training and attack aircraft via the US foreign military sales scheme, and potentially the purchase of VBTP and LMV armored vehicles and trucks from Iveco Defence Vehicles. Several military hardware of US origin was already inducted by Lebanon including M198 towed 155mm artillery howitzers, M1151A1 4×4 protected vehicles and ammunition.

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