Proposed air defence system for Oman

FCO 8/2025 1973 Jan 01 - 1973 Dec 31

This file concerns the proposed air defence system for Oman, between April and November 1973. It contains correspondence relating to:

  • The promise of financial aid from the Gulf States to the Sultan of Oman Qaboos Bin Saeed Al Said for the establishment of an air defence system over all of Oman and Dhofar in particular to deter aerial attacks by the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY)
  • The cost of the air defence system, the manpower needed, and the availability of aircraft, and a brief for Secretary of Defence Lord Carrington for discussions with the Sultan
  • A brief for the Oman Air Defence Team, with sections on ground-to-air defence, air defence aircraft, development of a base, ground environment radars, hardening of the Sultan of Oman's Airforce (SOAF) airfields, air-to-ground interdiction of PDRY airfields, and resources
  • The dispatch of a Team to examine the proposals in situ and the Team's composition
  • The preliminary recommendations of the Air Defence Team during a call on Sultan Qaboos
  • A visit by Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss air defence with the Sultan, and the Air Defence Team's costings for the equipment judged to be necessary for Oman
  • A minute from the Chief of Air Staff to the Defence Secretary on the air defence of Oman
  • The report of the visit by the Air Defence Team under Captain E P Bennett, May 1973
  • The views of Julian Amery and Lord Balniel [Robert Alexander Lindsay] and the recommendation that Sultan Qaboos should be dissuaded from pursuing such a grandiose scheme
  • A minute from Secretary of Defence Lord Carrington to the Prime Minister Edward Heath
  • The brief for Secretary of Defence Lord Carrington's meeting with Sultan Qaboos in Oman
  • The disappointment of Sultan Qaboos with the memorandum provided by Secretary Lord Carrington, and the Sultan's turn to the USA for a second opinion on an air defence system for Oman