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Nigerian Air Force to acquire 3 JF-17s aircrafts made by Pakistan

The Nigerian government has announced its approval for a part-payment of $47 million for the acquisition of 3 brand new JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter jets made by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

Nigerian Air Force to acquire 3 JF 17s aircrafts made by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex 925 001 JF-17 at Zhuhai Airshow 2016 in China (Picture source : Air Recognition)

The JF-17 is a light-weight, single-engine, multi-role fighter jet can be armed with up to 3.629kg or air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry. And this jet is capable to reach up to 1.910 km/h (Mach 1.6). No further precisions have been given on the armament chosen to equip the 3 jets that Nigeria will acquire.

The Nigerian Air Force may also consider to buy some jets more in the future. This acquisition is indeed a part of a fleet modernization programme that includes the acquisition of 2 brand new AW109 helicopters made by the Italian company Leonardo Helicopters (for $19 million), the acquisition of 8 Russian-made Mi-35M attack helicopters and 12 Brazilian A-29 Super Tucano from the U.S.

The budget allowed to the Air Force also includes provision for periodic depot maintenance of a C-130 Hercules and of 2 Alpha jets, the procurement of various arms and ammunition but also the construction of a standard aircraft maintenance hangar. All of these expenses are expected to improve the operational capabilities of the Nigerian Air Force.