Neptune Thunder 2011

More on the Joint Lebanese-UNIFIL Artillery exercise, this time with a report from the French Ministère de la Defense.

“On January 7, 2011, the artillery support units of the UNIFIL QRF (quick reaction force) were deployed south of Naqoura for Neptune Thunder Fire exercise at sea .

The 5th Brigade of the Lebanese Armed Forces were involved in this exercise of artillery fire. Spanish, Indians, Portuguese and Korean soldiers also used the meeting to make shots at sea with their own weapons.

The four 155 mm guns AUF1 have made their last shot at sea in Lebanon. Soon enough, these guns will be replaced by the Caesar 155mm Self-Propelled Artillery System, more modern and better adapted to the Lebanese landscape.

In the morning, all units of the QRF and the French battalion and its VBCI were also able to train with their weapons (12.7mm, 20mm and 25mm).

Mistral missiles and radar-aircraft units of the of very short range detachment (VSHORAD) were also deployed during the entire sequence of shots, for aerial surveillance exercise and detect any intrusion air in the firing zone.”

Lebanese Army 5th Brigade 155mm M-50 Howitzer and French UNIFIL AMX AuF1 preparing to fire.
Lebanese Army 5th Brigade 155mm M-50 Howitzer and French UNIFIL AMX AuF1 aiming and Firing. The AuF1 soon to be replaced by the CAESAR is retired mainly because of its high maintenance cost. According to a report from the Assemblée Nationale's Finance Committee, the rubber track pads mounted on vehicles deployed in Lebanon (AuF1, Leclerc and AMX-10P) was such that they had to be changed every three weeks. Also, their replacement will both make some savings and avoid damaging the roads in southern Lebanon.
French UNIFIL vehicles during the exercise: a Peugeot P4, a VBCI VCI and a VBCI VPC.

Source: Ministère de la Défense

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