The Senegalese Air Force’s (SAF) Chief of Air Staff, Brigadier General Birame Diop, expressed his interest in building bilateral ties with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Associated Press of Pakistan reports.
During his visit to Pakistan, Brig. Gen Diop met with the PAF Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman as well as other PAF officials, including the Chairman of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Air Marshal Arshad Malik. The PAF offered its full support in training and capacity building to the SAF.
Brig. Gen Diop also met with Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain.
Notes & Comments:
The PAF and PAC will likely be interested in marketing the JF-17 multi-role fighter, which is co-produced by PAC and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), to Senegal. With its recent order of three JF-17s to Nigeria, PAC entered the African defence market, and AVIC/PAC may sense an opportunity to expand. Besides follow-on orders from Nigeria, sales in Sudan, Namibia, Angola, Kenya and Senegal may be on the marketing roadmap.
Senegal has three Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano, a turboprop-powered light combat aircraft, on order for its fixed-wing air combat fleet. In the short-term, the Super Tucano will form the entirety of the SAF’s fighter force. While an attractive counterinsurgency (COIN) and light attack platform, the EMB-314 will not assume the role of a full-fledged multi-role fighter; but it is not known if Senegal is interested in a fast jet solution akin to the JF-17 (or another platform).
PAC could also be marketing the MFI-395 Super Mushshak basic training and screener aircraft, which has seen success in 2016 thanks to sales in Qatar, Nigeria and Turkey. Paired with PAF training support – in Senegal and in Pakistan – the Super Mushshak may have a reasonable chance of a sale in Senegal.
Here goes another perspective buyer, from points mentioned above, Senegal seems to be interested in Super Mashshak not the thunder. Senegal never operated a jet fighter, they may lack the ability of Jet fighter operation/maintenance infrastructure, but you never know because Embraer type aircrafts are not so cheap either. PAS can convince them for JF-17 block1, which is cheaper than block2 ad 3.
Here goes or here comes another prospective customer? The Senegalese air force only consists of 3 super tucanos and there is still room for a jet fighter sale.