Saudis on the offensive

Issue 28 - 15 Jul 1980
For the first time, the Saudis want weaponry which is unequivocally aggressive in nature. That is the import of the request by Defence Minister Prince Sultan to the United States for the provision of long-range accessories on 60 F-15 fighters already on order for delivery by 1982. Predictably, the request has come under fire from Israel which, extracted assurances from Washington when the F-I5 sale went through in 1978 that the Saudi aircraft would be given minimal aggressive capability against the Israelis. Not surprisingly, the Israeli press has recently devoted its attentions once more to the "threat" from Saudi Arabia's north-western air base at Tabuq, which is capable of accommodating the F-I5.

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