Bahrain: Bahrain and the UK hope to inspire a future generation of pilots, engineers and aviators by taking part in a joint air show today.
Members of the world-renowned British Royal Air Force aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, will be performing a joint flypast at 11am with fighter jets from the Royal Bahraini Air Force.
They will fly in formation over different locations including Zallaq, Northern City, Seef District, Al Fateh Corniche, Juffair, Muharraq, Riffa and Jaw.
A short demonstration was held yesterday near The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain before the Red Arrows landed to attend a reception with members of the Bahraini team.
“We’re given the privilege to present the best of Britain around the world, also to some new places this year, like China for the first time in our history,” Wing Commander Martin Higgins, the officer commanding the Royal Air Force aerobatic team, told the GDN in an exclusive interview .
“But the Middle East is also important to us, especially Bahrain which is marking 200 years of close ties with the UK. So, we’re absolutely delighted to be here.
“In terms of preparation, the lead-up takes months of preparations to ensure that everything is in place in terms of air traffic and airspace.
“Our thanks to Bahraini authorities and also the embassy staff here.
“We are also very excited to be flying with our Royal Bahraini Air Force colleagues. That will be a first for us in a very long time so we’re delighted to be doing that.
“Our other aim, of course, is to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and aviators. We hope to show through teamwork and determination you can achieve great things.”
The show in Bahrain is part of the nine-men Red Arrow team and their support crew’s 60-day Asia-Pacific and Middle East tour which they have spent 18 months preparing for.
The Red Arrows will be flying their trademark Hawk T1 fast jets and the Royal Bahraini Air Force will be flying the Hawk 129.
“We’ll be able to demonstrate how closely (Bahrain and the UK) work because we will be flying a Red Arrows formation with the Bahraini Hawks.
“It will also demonstrate that we are flying the same aircraft which is a British aircraft made by British Aerospace and Rolls-Royce,” said RAF Central Flying School group captain Fin Monahan.
“Bahrain chose that aircraft as it is one of the most successful fighter trainers in the world and it really is a superb aircraft to fly,” he said.
Red Arrow Team Squadron Leader David Montenegro described Bahrain as a “perfect geographical circuit” for flying and that co-ordinating with the local authorities has been superb.