Canada buying more bombs for Libya

The Canadian government has ordered 1,300 replacement laser-guided bombs to use in its NATO mission in Libya, defense officials in Ottawa said.

Since the United Nations authorized NATO to impose a no-fly zone to curb Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's military from harming civilians at the end of March, Canadian CF-18 fighter jets have flown about 300 sorties, dropping so-called smart bombs on artillery positions, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

While the defense department wouldn't disclose how many bombs have been used in Libya or the order for new bombs, it's known they are 500-pound Paveway GBU-12 bombs.

Various defense groups say each of the bombs cost about $100,000, the report said.

As part of NATO's Libyan mission Canada has 560 troops deployed. Military equipment includes a naval frigate in the Mediterranean, seven CF-18 fighter aircraft, two large Aurora maritime surveillance aircraft and two refueling planes, the report said.

Canada's original NATO commitment is scheduled to end June 16, but the government intends to extend it, CTV News said.

[Source: UPI, Ottawa, 18May11]

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