The Lebanese Navy is set to receive new offshore patrol vessels from the United States and France, Defense News reported on Monday.
4 of the 7 vessels will be provided with help from France, while the remaining three Protector-class offshore patrol vehicles (OPVs) will come from the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Defense had informed Lebanon in May that the 3 OPVs would be delivered with the aim of helping the crisis-hit country respond to regional threats and keep maritime passages open, according to a statement on May 21st by the Defense Department.
“Currently, there is coordination with French shipbuilders to supply Lebanon with four OPV frigates, of 65- and 75-[meter] length each,” Lebanese Naval Forces Commander Captain Haissam Dannaoui told Defense News.
The OPVs that will come from France will be financed with a French loan, in line with the 2018 Rome 2 Conference that outlined support for the Lebanese Armed Forces.
A 400-million-euro credit line is expected to be opened by France so that Lebanon can purchase French military equipment.
Capt. Dannaoui said that the specifications and costs of the vessels were still being negotiated, expressing hope for an agreement to be reached soon.
“These vessels will help protect the Lebanese coast and territorial waters,” the officer said.
Our team works tirelessly to ensure Lebanese people have a reliable alternative to the politically-backed media outlets with their heavily-funded and dangerous propaganda machines. We've been detained, faced nonstop cyber attacks, censorship, attempted kidnapping, physical intimidation, and frivolous lawsuits draining our resources. Financial support from our readers keeps us fighting on your behalf. If you are financially able, please consider supporting The961's work. Support The961. Make a contribution now.