RSAF Patch Display Royal Saudi Air Force 88 Squadron Saudi Hawks
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RSAF Patch Display Royal Saudi Air Force 88 Squadron Saudi Hawks

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  • Item #: 1P 41SA 1SAF 01SQN 2OP SH88SQ 02
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RSAF Patch Display Royal Saudi Air Force Saudi Hawks Aerobatic Team 88 Squadron Hawk Mk 65 7 Wing KFAB Tabuk Training 1999 Hand embroidered wire and applique on wool cut edge 84mm three and five sixteenth inches diameter.

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88 Squadron was activated at Dhahran Air Base on 25 June 1998 as the RSAF Display Team to represent the Royal Saudi Air Force at national and international occasions equipped with three Al Yamamah I Hawk Mk 65 fast jet trainers which had been modified by Bae at Dhahran to include single colour smoke producing capability with 37 Squadron serial numbers and six new Al Yamamah II Hawk Mk 65A aircraft modified at BAE UK with three colour smoke pods with 79 Squadron serial numbers. Display training was initially carried out with the aircraft still in their standard delivered camouflage with Saudi qualified Hawk flying instructor pilots. The Aircraft were repainted to the green and white scheme during September to November 1998. The Display Team was named the Saudi Hawks Aerobatic Team and undertook their first show in January 1999 in Riyadh as part of Saudi Arabias 100th anniversary celebrations with a five ship display.

Dhahran AB was redesignated King Abdullah Aziz Air Base in 1999 when all RSAF air bases were named after members of the Saudi Royal family and RSAF introduced its Wing system to control and support base Squadrons with two wings 3 Wing and 11 Wing established at King Abdullah Aziz Air Base Dhahran. The F 15 Squadrons 13 and 92 and Hawk Mk 65 Squadrons 21 37 and 88 Saudi Hawks Display Team were assigned to 3 Wing and the Tornado Squadrons 7 29 35 66 75 and 83 were assigned to 11 Wing.

88 Squadron along with 21 and 37 Squadrons relocated to King Faisal Air Base KFAB Tabuk between January and March 2000 reassigned to 7 Wing joined by 79 Squadron RSAFs other Hawk unit relocating from King Feisal Air Academy Al Kharj at the same time. The display enlarged to seven ships in 2001 with the inclusion of a synchro pair although reverted to five in 2002 has enlarged again to provide a six or seven ship display. The Team has visited The Red Arrows at practice camps at RAF Akritiri on a number of occasions including 2007 and 2009 and has had the benefit of ex Red Arrow pilots as advisors.

The Saudi Hawks prepare for a four month display season starting in June with a tour around the Kingdom to perform at various national events taking in a numbers of events in neighbouring countries including the Dubai Airshow. The Team first displayed in Europe at Airpower 2011 at Hinterstoisser Airbase Zeltweg Austria with other European appearances including Koksijde International Airshow 2011 Belgium and Royal International Air Tattoo 2011 at RAF Fairford UK. The Team returned to the UK in 2012 with displays at RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day and RAF Waddington International Air Show. Saudi Hawks displayed at the Kavala Air Sea Show at Kavala Greece in June 2014. The Saudi Hawks Aerobatic Team continue to provide displays in the Middle East and Europe.

This patch dates from 1999.

 

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