80. Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State1

1033. Subj: King Approves Purchase Improved Hawk System. Ref: Jidda 0975.

1. Defense Minister Prince Sultan informed me March 12 that King Faisal had approved in principle Saudi Arabian purchase of modified Hawk missile system. I said I was pleased to hear that SAG had decided on sound step for improvement of its defenses, one which USG thoroughly approved.

2. Sultan asked whether he should communicate this decision in writing to USG or to Raytheon directly. I said I thought he could write Raytheon, and Sultan said he would do so. I knew company would be prepared on short notice to move ahead with discussions or negotiations in whatever manner His Highness might desire. Sultan noted that his son, Lieutenant Prince Khalid bin Sultan and another Saudi officer are now in U.S. looking over Hawk installations under Raytheon auspices.

3. Local Raytheon manager and Deputy in Beirut through March 14; Embassy will inform upon their return.

  1. Summary: Prince Sultan informed the Embassy that King Faisal approved the Saudi purchase of the Improved Hawk anti-aircraft missile system.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number]. Secret; Limdis. Telegram 975 to Jidda was not found. A note by OC/T indicates it was not received in the Department.