The shipment recently arrived along with Britain‘s 16 Air Assault Brigade that will train the Lebanese Army in operating the vehicles.
The armored Land Rovers were donated to the Army with the aim of helping it “tackle the threat from terrorism on its border with Syria, which is frequently used by violent extremists and smugglers,” the UK Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
“The Lebanese border is also used by international arms and drugs smugglers, with the illicit substances and arms then transited through the country and onto other parts of the world,” the Ministry noted.
The rovers are capable of tackling rugged lands like the Syrian border and can be mounted with heavy weapons. They are now in possession of the Lebanese Army’s Land Border Regiments in charge of patrolling the border.
The donation, worth £1.5 million (approx. $2 million) also serves to strengthen the UK’s relationship with Lebanon.
“Supporting the LAF and promoting security and stability in the region during a time of economic crisis is also crucial to reinforcing the LAF’s ability to defend the state of Lebanon from a range of threats,” the UK Defense Ministry said.
The Revised Weapons Mounted Installation Kit (RWMIK) Land Rovers were reportedly successful in operations by the British military in various countries, like Iraq and Afghanistan. They are now being taken out of service.
In a similar foreign act of support, the United States just presented to the Lebanese army three Huey 2 helicopters as a gift. The handover was held at Beirut Air Base, in the presence of the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea.