The Red Arrows have started final preparations for an 8-country tour of the Middle East.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is known across the world for spectacular displays of precision formation flying. Exercise Eastern Hawk will see them visit Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Pakistan and Bahrain to demonstrate these skills.

Demand for the team at home is always high but making time for an overseas tour, to share the excitement, demonstrate the professionalism, and celebrate the enduring connection with the UK’s friends and allies is just as important.

The Red Arrows are key ambassadors in demonstrating the ‘best of British’ say the MoD.

Wing Commander Andrew Keith, Officer Commanding of the Red Arrows said:

“The Red Arrows are very much looking forward to deploying on this visit. This follows on from a very successful deployment in 2016 to the Asia-Pacific region and will continue to focus on Government objectives to promote the United Kingdom, through the GREAT campaign, as a global brand.

It also provides opportunities for Defence Engagement and to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through events with students and educational institutes.”

Arriving on time and in good order is as vital for this tour as it is for every UK military operation. This year the team will benefit from the support of the RAF’s newest strategic air-lifter, the Atlas A400-M to move equipment and personnel around the region.

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Peter Crisp
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Peter Crisp

Has there been any movement on the contract to replace the aircraft yet?
I assume new Hawks are the most likely?

Sjb1968
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Sjb1968

Whatever this costs it is to much. We are actually losing warfightighting capability but maintain this aerobatic team. The SAS are losing their helicopters but it is ok we can still give an air display to some arabs. Please don’t tell me this helps exports because selling anything in that part of the world is all how about big a bribe you are prepared to pay.

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

While your at it don’t forget the British army has 400+ horses and only 200 (ish) MBTs…so quick, shoot the horses …they don’t contribute anything to war fighting and nobody but nobody ever wants to see them.

Alan Jarvis
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Alan Jarvis

Well said Sjb 1968!

Harry Nelson
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Harry Nelson

Really, you don’t see the benefit of this?

Ali
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Ali

Is the RAF’s full time commissioned (he was an JNCO) jazz singer going with them too?

Harry Nelson
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Harry Nelson

Tell you what, let’s scrap all military bands too…. That’ll cheer you up!

Ali
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Ali

Why is it a Wing Commander is now doing the junior job of Squadron Leader?

sjb1968
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sjb1968

Gentlemen I did not say I don’t see any value in the red arrows or if comes to that some horses, but when our politicians are continuing to make some very hard cuts to warfighting units and capabilities then you have to ask is the money available being spent most effectively. Please take a moment to think it through but some of your reactions are typical of the hysteria that would be whipped by the media if these cuts where every seriously considered. Much better to make more serious cuts to real capabilities because Joe public wont notice! For what… Read more »