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

FCO 8/3924 1981 Jan 01 - 1981 Dec 31

This file concerns HMG’s efforts to secure the contract for the sale of Hawk training aircraft to Abu Dhabi. It contains correspondence and memoranda concerning:

  • Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s concerns regarding commissions being paid on the sale, and HMG’s attempts to allay his concerns
  • A message from Edward MacMillan Taylor MP regarding his constituent John Manna who has advised seeking help from Sheikh Suroor Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan
  • The competition with France for the aircraft contract, including a proposed visit by the French Minister of Defence Charles Hernu
  • Proposals for sending a personal message from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to the Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan to encourage the sale
  • The visit of K P Jeffs of MOD Sales to Abu Dhabi and Dubai
  • HMG’s efforts to conclude the sale

This file also contains correspondence and memoranda concerning:

  • General defence sales prospects in the UAE
  • A visit to the UAE by the Chairman of British Aerospace Sir Raymond Lygo concerning maintenance of the Rapier missiles
  • A visit by the UAE Electronic Warfare Committee to the US; and the committee's proposed visit to the UK
  • Missile sales by the US to the UAE
  • A rumoured ‘shopping list’ of UAE defence spending priorities
  • UAE interest in purchasing vehicles and radio sets
  • Sheikh Khalifa’s insistence on all defence sales being undertaken on a government-to-government basis
  • The movements of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Khalifa, with regards to defence sales