Red Arrows to Display at Major Gulf Airshow for the First Time

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team will perform at the Bahrain International Airshow for the first time as part of a visit to the Gulf to promote UK interests.

Audiences at the major aerospace and business event will enjoy a series of world-class performances by the Red Arrows in November.

The displays and associated ground engagements are an opportunity to further develop the longstanding diplomatic, military and trade relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Kingdom.

Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, said: “The Red Arrows represent the RAF’s commitment to excellence – the dedication of the team’s pilots and ground crews ensure they perform world class displays.

The UK has enjoyed a long and prosperous partnership with Bahrain. Both nations benefit from these strong links and this Red Arrows tour represents the UK’s commitment to maintaining these links.”

Over the last 10 years, the Bahrain International Airshow has established itself as a leading event for aviation with more than 50,000 trade visitors expected in 2022 and some 215 military and civilian delegations in attendance between November 9th and 11th.

The Red Arrows will deploy to the Gulf following completion of the team’s busy domestic season and use the airshow as an opportunity to carry out a series of displays, flypasts and ground events elsewhere while in the region.

The 5-week programme of activities will support a range of UK interests as part of the Government’s GREAT Britain Campaign and take in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is hoped the tour will also include a visit to Egypt by the team for the first time in almost 20 years.

The tour aims to promote the UK in the region, building on the mutually beneficial relationships between the UK and Gulf nations in a range of sectors, including business, trade, defence, tourism and education.

It follows the launch of trade talks in June between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which covers £33.1 billion of trade. The UK’s defence relationship with Bahrain is vital for peacekeeping and regional security. Bahrain is home to the Royal Navy’s largest naval base outside the UK which supports its ships operating in the region.

As well as the eye-catching air displays, the team will also conduct a series of ground events including business seminars and sessions aimed at inspiring young people by using the Red Arrows to highlight the importance of science technology, engineering and maths.

The announcement to perform at the Bahrain show was made at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, where the UK Defence Senior Advisor to the Middle East, Air Marshal Sammy Sampson met with the Bahraini Minister of Transportation & Telecommunications, Minister Mohammed bin Thamer Al-Kaabi.

Air Marshal Sammy Sampson, said: “It is with great pleasure that I can announce that the Red Arrows will be in Bahrain later this year. The Bahrainis are a vital partner for UK Defence and I am sure that the Red Arrows will put on a spectacular show there as well as carrying out inspirational ground activity.”

Minister Mohammed bin Thamer Al-Kaabi, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Red Arrows at RAF Fairford this weekend. Bahrain is thrilled to be hosting them later this year where I am sure they will add significant value to our flying display programme.”

The Officer Commanding the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, Wing Commander David Montenegro, said: “Whether at home or overseas, the Red Arrows bring people together with a demonstration of precision and teamwork.

Watching fast-jets looping, rolling and flying in close-formation is a thrilling, dynamic and colourful proposition, regardless of your age, background or location.

The whole Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is delighted to be returning to the Gulf and hope to inspire people of all ages by delivering world-class displays that represent the best of Global Britain.”

For more information on the Red Arrows and the tour: follow @redarrows on Twitter, like the Team’s Facebook page or visit the RAF Red Arrows website.

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