photo Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal
Pilots from the Royal Saudi Air Force's Saudi Hawks aerobatic display team missed out on taking part in the flying programme on the first public day of the Royal International Air Tattoo on 16 July due to heavy rain.
After poor weather conditions prevented the first couple of hours of the planned display routine from taking place, the Saudi team - which is making its first visit to the UK at RIAT - made up by paying a visit to BAE Systems' outside exhibit for the Hawk 128/T2. The type is newly in service with the UK Royal Air Force.
The Saudi Hawks team flies eight Hawk 65 trainers. These arrived at Royal Air Force base Fairford in Gloucestershire on 13 July, accompanied by an air force Lockheed Martin C-130 transport.
Saudi Arabia has an active fleet of 45 Hawk 65/65As, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. The oldest of these entered operational use in 1987, with their age posing a training gap to the air force's incoming fleet of 72 Eurofighter Typhoons.
photo © RIATofficial