Saudi Arabian air defence scheme

FCO 8/1747 1971 Jan 01-1971 Dec 31

This file is part B of a series of files relating to the Saudi Arabian Air Defence Scheme (SAADS), where the Saudi Arabian Government signed a letter of intent, agreeing to buy aircrafts, training, maintenance and military equipment from three British companies overseen by HMG. These companies, known collectively as the Saudi Arabian Defence Consortium (SADC), are: British Aircraft Corporation Limited (BAC), Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) and Airwork Services Limited. This file contains correspondence and memoranda relating to:

  • Meetings held by the Executive Committee on 11 February and 11 March 1971, concerning the SADC
  • The British Minister of Aviation Supply F V Corfield's visit to Saudi Arabia between 21 and 26 January to discuss the progress of the SAADS, including minutes from a meeting between Corfield and the Saudi Vice Minister of Defence and Aviation Prince Turki Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud on 24 January
  • The Royal Saudi Air Force's failure to carry out responsibilities
  • Saudi Arabia's wish to prematurely terminate the present air defence contract
  • Negotiations between the Saudi Government and Northrop Aircraft Incorporated for the sale of F5 freedom fighters to replace T33s and F86s
  • Airwork's impression that HMG and the Consortium organisation are working against them
  • The Consortium companies failure to carry out their obligations, including a list of Saudi complaints
  • Rolls-Royce pointing out the Saudi Government's failure to replenish funds for the purchase of spares
  • The Saudi Government's threat to replace Airwork
  • A letter from Prince Turki to Prime Minister Edward Heath regarding existing problems between the Saudi Government and the SADC
  • The individual contracts of the SADC
  • Navigational aids and communications
  • The annual shortage of flying hours
  • Assessment visits
  • A history of the SAADS by J A Horrell
  • Tests taken by RSAF applicants at Biggin Hill
  • Technical difficulties at the Sulbach radar complex, including AEI's position on the radar handover, which they concealed from HMG