An M113 APC of the LAF’s Support Brigade fires a TOW II during a live-fire demonstration near Baalbek on 10 June. Source: PA Photos
The US State Department has approved the sale of 1,500 wireless TOW II guided missiles to Lebanon, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 22 July.
Estimated to be worth USD250 million, the proposed sale includes 50 M220A2 launchers, 1,000 BGM-71E-4B-RF anti-armour missiles, and 500 BGM-71H-1-RF bunker-buster missiles.
The United States has already transferred older wire-guided versions of the TOW II as part of its efforts to build up the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) so it can cope with the instability spilling across the country’s border with Syria.
The White House announced in 2013 that TOW II launchers and missiles had been transferred and the LAF announced at the beginning of June that it had received a consignment of BGM-71C TOW II missiles from the US. A few days later it put on a demonstration for journalists that included firing TOW missiles from launchers mounted on M113 armoured personnel carriers and Humvees.