The RAF's world-famous aerobatic team will perform in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar
British Red Arrows to perform displays across Gulf
The Red Arrows will tour the Middle East in September, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
The RAF's world-famous aerobatic team will perform in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.
The MoD initially included the UAE in its announcement but British officials later said that was yet to be confirmed.
It will be "a visible demonstration of UK engagement", Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, who is currently in Kuwait to review the campaign against ISIL.
“This historic Red Arrows tour will be a visible demonstration of UK engagement across the globe, flying the flag to promote Britain in important capitals through the GREAT campaign,” he said, referencing the UK’s exporting campaign.
Mr Fallon added, “Kuwait is a vital partner. I will be looking to strengthen our military relationship with more frequent joint exercises and I will be reviewing the next steps in the campaign against Daesh with commanders at the Coalition’s headquarters in Kuwait”.
As Britain continues in its ‘Brexit’ negotiations to leave the European Union, the MOD said the aim of the tour will be to highlight links with the British Armed Forces in each of the countries and demonstrate the UK is "open for business".
A statement from the MoD and Mr Fallon said, “At a time when the UK is negotiating a new, deep and special partnership with the European Union, it is continuing to look outwards globally. The tour will highlight the partnership with the British Armed Forces in each nation visited, as well as demonstrating that the UK is ‘open for business’, committed to peace and security, and a leading player on the global stage”.
The nine fast-jet pilots have had a busy summer, performing at more than 60 displays, involving precision flying, in front of millions of people across the country and overseas.
People flocked from all over the UAE to see the Red Arrows perform in Abu Dhabi last November.