The Lebanese army has been demonstrating its new "toys" - modern weapons that it has bought from countries on either side of the Iron Curtain.
SV Press and officials inspecting new weapons. (3 shots)
SV Weapons on display.
SV & GV Press and officials being shown American-made M-16 rifle.
GV French-made armoured vehicle. (2 shots)
GV Armoured vehicle showing firing power to army officials.
SV 122-millimetre howitzer made in USSR demonstrated to press and army officials. (5 shots)
"The Lebanese Army, which used to complain that even the local bandits were better armed than some of its soldiers, invited the public and the press to a show of new weapons.
The demonstration took place less than two weeks after an Israeli Army attack on southern Lebanon. The Lebanese Army has fought back -- and now it was feeling some new muscles.
The new weapons were purchased both from Communist countries and the Western countries. This soldier demonstrated an American-made M-16 rifle....a modern weapon that had not been seen before in Lebanese Army hands. The Lebanese also have some new Belgian-made rifles.
A new model of a French armoured car -- which arrived only 10 days before -- was shown for the first time. So was a new type of French armoured troop carrier.
The armoured cars gave a firing demonstration which impressed the audience..... made up mostly of military attaches, members of the Lebanese parliament, and journalists.
The big weapon of the show was a 122-millimetre howitzer, made in the Soviet Union. The gun was delivered with instruction plates in French.... the foreign language most commonly spoken in Lebanon..... suggesting that Moscow had tailored this order for the Lebanese Army.
The Lebanese are considered to be good artillery men...and they did well with the new gun.
The Lebanese government frankly admits that its small Army is no match for the Israelis, in manpower or equipment. But the Lebanese did fight the Israelis on September 16th....for the first time in many years.... and the Army, in showing off its new weapons, seemed to be saying that it is ready to fight again.
Richard Hunt, NBC News, with the Lebanese Army."
Initials RW/VS 22.46 RW/VS 22.55
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Lebanese army has been demonstrating its new "toys" - modern weapons that it has bought from countries on either side of the Iron Curtain. The army had been quoted in the past as complaining that it's equipment was inferior even to that owned by local bandits, so it was keen to display its new acquisitions. The demonstrations were also seen as a chance to achieve better relations with the Lebanese public who were invited to the display along with members of Parliament, military attaches and journalists.
The equipment included the American-made M-16 rifle - which is new to Lebanon - and Belgian weapons. Armoured cars and troop carriers have been bought from France, but the star of the show was a 122-millimetre howitzer from the Soviet Union. The fact that it bore French instructions indicated that Moscow had tailored the order for Lebanon where French is the most common language.
This film carries a commentary by reporter Richard Hunt of the National Broadcasting Company of America. A transcript appears below and an alternative commentary appears overleaf.