Saudi Hawks

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The Saudi Hawks at the 2011 Koksijde Airshow, Belgium

The Saudi Hawks are a BAE Hawk-equipped Royal Saudi Air Force aerobatic team.

On June 6, 1998, at King Abdulaziz Air Base (Dhahran), No. 88 Squadron was created by Gen. Abdulaziz Henaidy, the Royal Saudi Air Force's chief of staff, who is backed by Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz (Minister of Defense and Aviation). The squadron is known as the "Saudi Hawks Aerobatic Team." Flying BAE Hawk Mk.65 and 65A jet trainers, it is the Royal Saudi Air Force's (RSAF) official demonstration team.

The Hawks debuted in January 1999 at Riyadh, the Saudi kingdom's capital, as part of Saudi Arabia's 100th anniversary celebrations. Six smoke-capable BAE Hawk Mk.65A and three Mk.65s-all modified by BAE Systems are assigned to the team and now wear the team's striking green and white demonstration colors. In February 2000, the Hawks first appeared outside their homeland-in Bahrain, flying out of Dhahran. Soon afterward, the team and the various RSAF Hawk squadrons moved to King Faisal Air Base (Tabuk) in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

The team draws comparison with the RAF Red Arrows due to the similar aircraft. There are tangible links as ex-Red Arrows personnel have been involved in training the team.[1]

From June 2002, the team toured the kingdom for four months and performed at civil and military shows. The team performed its first ever display in Europe at the Air Power 2011[2] in Zeltweg.

In July 2011, they displayed in the UK for the first time. The display was cancelled on the first day of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford due to bad weather, but they flew a rolling display the following day.

In June 2014, they displayed in the Kavala AirSea Show which was held in Kavala, Greece.

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