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IDEAS 2014: Nigeria ‘close to signing up’ for JF-17

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IDEAS 2014: Nigeria ‘close to signing up’ for JF-17

02 December 2014

Nigeria is close to signing up for one or two squadrons of JF-17s, according to Pakistani officials. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is close to finalising an order for the purchase of one or two squadrons of the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft co-produced by Pakistan and China, a senior Pakistani Ministry of Defence official told IHS Jane’s on 2 December.

Speaking at the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2014 in Karachi, the official said the NAF finalised its recommendation for the purchase of 25-40 JF-17s after NAF chief air marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu visited Pakistan in October. AM Amosu’s engagements in Pakistan included a visit to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) at Kamra, north of Islamabad, where the JF-17 is manufactured.

So far, the PAC has produced 50 Block 1 JF-17s and began work on another 50 Block 2 variants in late 2013. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officials have told IHS Jane’s that a Block 3 variant is being planned. While the JF-17 has PAF capability plans, it has so far failed to find an export customer.


PAF officials have described the JF-17 Block 3 as a fourth-generation-plus fighter, a term that is used to describe Western aircraft such as Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60s, the Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Dassault Rafale, among others.

Western officials have previously said that a first successful export of the JF-17 holds the key for the programme’s long-term sustainment. Potential export customers mentioned as likely candidates for the JF-17 have included Egypt, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Venezuela.

Senior PAF officials have promoted the JF-17 as costing much less than comparable fighters produced by Western manufacturers. 

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