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The Javelin joins the Royal Saudi Air Force

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Gloster Javelin Mk.52 - No.6 Squadron, Royal Saudi Air Force, 1966


The persistent overflights of Saudi territory by Egyptian Air Force reconnaissance aircraft and the influx of insurgents on the Yemen border during the late 1950's led to an urgent approach to the UK Government made by King Saud for the supply of modern aircraft for the Royal Saudi Air Force. In response, the UK Government announced the sale of 36 Gloster Javelin Mk.52's (from a cancelled Belgian order) and 36 Hawker Hunter F.6's (drawn from RAF stocks) together with the associated supply of armament, ground-support equipment and training. The deal was code-named 'Operation Ardah' and initial deliveries were made to the recently upgraded RSAF airbase at Riyadh during 1960 with No.5 and No.6 squadrons both becoming fully equipped and operational by the end of that year. The Javelin Mk.52 remained in RSAF service until 1971 when they were replaced by McDonnell Douglas Phantom F-4E's.








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