Pakistan has agreed to sell three JF-17 Thunder multi-role combat aircraft to Nigeria. The MoU was signed earlier this year and was finalized at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in November.
Nigeria has turned to Russia and Pakistan for aircrafts to boost its fleet following a refusal by the United States to sell arms to the country.
Leading Nigerian newspapers have quoted the Nigerian Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar saying, “I want to say that we have been enjoying support from other countries. (Sometimes arms procurement) is shrouded in a lot of politics.”
The JF-17 Thunder aircraft was jointly developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. The lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft has a top speed of Mach 1.6 and can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. The JF-17 has previously been used by the Pakistan Air Force to bomb militant hideouts in Waziristan.
In addition to the JF-17s, PAC will also be supplying 10 MFI-395 Super Mushshak basic trainers which were ordered earlier in June. The Pakistan Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, recently presented four Super Mushshak Aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force in an induction ceremony in Kaduna.