UK arms sales to United Arab Emirates

FCO 8/2367 1974 Jan 01 - 1974 Dec 31

This file relates to the sale of arms from the UK to the UAE. It contains correspondence concerning:

  • A deal between the Abu Dhabi and British Aircraft Corporation concerning the sale of Rapier missiles: the risk to the deal from a French missile system; the visit of the Chief of Staff of the Abu Dhabi Defence Force Brigadier Sheikh Faisal Bin Sultan Al Qasimi to the UK to observe missile demonstrations, and reports of Abu Dhabian dissatisfaction; the question of HM Ambassador to the UAE D J McCarthy calling on Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan to confirm the sale; Sheikh Zayed’s wish to consult the Egyptians concerning Rapier before agreeing to the purchase; the role of Mohammad Abdul Jalil as a middleman in the deal; the role of Abu Dhabi Minister of Defence Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in completing the deal; and the significant delays to the completion of the deal due to the absences of Sheikh Faisal and Sheikh Khalifa from Abu Dhabi
  • The transfer of aircraft from Abu Dhabi to Egypt
  • An approach by the US to Abu Dhabi for the sale of military equipment
  • The question of whether French sales of aircraft to the UAE contravenes the rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or the European Economic Community; and whether the French government is subsidising arms sales
  • The question of demonstrating Rapier missiles to the Dubai Defence Force (DDF)
  • The interest of the DDF in purchasing a counter-battery radar system, anti-tank guns, ammunition, bombs, smoke grenades, and tanks; the visit of the Commander in Chief of the DDF Sheikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the UK to see weapons demonstrations, and his possible attendance at the Farnborough Air Show; and the DDF’s request for the purchase of light artillery weapons
  • An invitation to the new commander of the Abu Dhabi Air Force Air Commodore Ayyaz Ahmad Khan to Farnborough Air Show
  • The sale to Egypt of Rapier missiles, and the possibility of local production
  • The role of middlemen dealing in arms sales; and the importance of the Ministry of Defence keeping the Foreign Office fully informed
  • HMG's assistance to Abu Dhabi in supplying ammunition for Swedish-made weapons
  • The sale of plastic explosives, ammunition and rifles to Abu Dhabi
  • The problem of cracks in the armour of armoured vehicles sold to the Union Defence Force (UDF)
  • D J McCarthy’s letter to the head of MOD Sales Sir Lester Suffield concerning middlemen, the effect of the Arab-Israel conflict on the sale of arms to the Middle East, and the risks involve in selling arms to Abu Dhabi
  • The loaning of weapons and equipment to Abu Dhabi for demonstration by the British Manufacture and Research Company Limited, and the question of the equipment remaining in Abu Dhabi
  • The visit of a representative of Cossor Electronics to Abu Dhabi
  • The proposed sale of aircraft and tanks to Abu Dhabi
  • A request by Vosper Thornycroft Limited for HMG's assistance in selling patrol boats to the UAE coast guard