UK defence sales to the United Arab Emirates, including Hawk aircraft

FCO 8/3921 1981 Jan 01 - 1981 Dec 31

This file concerns HMG’s efforts to secure air defence contracts, especially for Hawk aircraft, with the UAE. It contains correspondence concerning:

  • HMG’s interest in establishing stronger ties with the UAE through defence sales
  • A dispute between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office concerning their efforts to secure the contract for the sale of Hawk training aircraft
  • The intensity of competition for the contracts with France
  • The UAE Defence Minister Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s reservations regarding the performance of Hawk
  • The question of putting in a pre-emptory offer for a contract for both Hawk and Jaguar attack aircraft
  • A breach of communications security by British Aerospace (BAe)
  • An offer by HMG of free RAF pilot training to encourage the Hawk sale
  • Questions regarding the reliability of defence sales agents as sources of information
  • The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Douglas Hurd’s visit and letter to the Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss defence sales
  • The identity of the defence sales agents operating on behalf of the French
  • A proposed visit by a team from the Ministry of Defence and BAe to make recommendations on air force training
  • The question of including Tornado aircraft in an offer to the UAE
  • The possible effects of UK cuts to defence spending on the Hawk sale
  • The possibility of UAE Minister of Petroleum Mana Saeed Al Otaiba endorsing Hawk to UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
  • The question of providing an RAF team to assist in consulting for an air defence radar system
  • The question of further ministerial support for defence sales

This file also contains correspondence concerning:

  • The supply of armoured vehicles to the UAE
  • Explosive Ordinance Disposal equipment
  • The new generation of Rulers in the UAE and questions regarding internal stability upon the deaths of the Rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai
  • Ministerial visits to the Gulf
  • The sale of tanks to Kuwait
  • A proposed visit by Sir Neil Wheeler of Rolls-Royce to the Gulf
  • A UAE visit to the UK to observe a ‘naval tactical trainer’ operated by the Royal Navy