According the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar (via Air Recognition), the country has inked a sale for 10 Super Mushshak flight trainers from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).
In addition to the Super Mushshak aircraft, a number of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilots will also join the NAF’s 310 Flying School to help train NAF pilots.
This is PAC’s second Super Mushshak sale to have been concluded in recent days, with the Qatar Emiri Air Force signing onto the platform last week.
Comment and Analysis
The NAF is also preparing to induct three JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters, these will likely form the core of a larger squadron over the coming years. While it is likely that the NAF will procure guided air-to-surface munitions from China (e.g. the LT-series of laser-guided bombs), it has the option to configure the Thunder with munitions and on-board systems at will (in line with its budget and vendor access). In any case, the NAF could utilize the platform for a wide range of tactical missions; from precision-strike, maritime operations to beyond and within visual range air-to-air engagement, the NAF will be well-set.
Alongside the forthcoming Mi-35 assault helicopter as well as Chinese armed drones (such as the CH-3 and potentially the CH-4 in the future), the NAF is in the midst of building its counterinsurgency capacities. The NAF is also anticipating the release of A-29 Super Tucano attackers from the U.S. as well.
Given the potential depth of Nigeria’s defence build-up, an opportunity may exist for Pakistan in the area of training and capacity building, be it for external defence and/or counterinsurgency. This avenue could actually emerge as a long-term involvement, one that can readily include hardware acquisitions and support (as well as upgrades).