The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of five – from an order of 10 – Super Mushshak trainers from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) on Friday, July 14.
In an official press release, the NAF announced that the Super Mushshak trainers were delivered to the 401 Flying Training School located in Kaduna.
Nigeria inked the Super Mushshak order in June 2016. In December, PAC delivered four Super Mushshak from its existing stocks as a stopgap ahead of the NAF’s new-built aircraft, which were recently delivered.
According to the NAF, the stopgap aircraft were provided “at no cost” to train NAF aircrew and pilots. The NAF graduated its first instructors for the platform in March.
The Super Mushshak is an aspect of the NAF’s modernization efforts, which also include the induction of Mil Mi-35M attack helicopters and pursuit of combat aircraft, namely the JF-17 and A-29 Super Tucano. A major impetus for the NAF’s development is to improve its close air support (CAS) capabilities.
The sale of Super Mushshak trainers is among several defence programs taking place between Nigeria and Pakistan. In addition to training programs for the Nigerian military, such as its special forces, Pakistan is also slated to sell three JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters to the NAF.
Introduced in 2002 by PAC, the Super Mushshak is a modernized variant of the Saab MFI-17 Supporter. It is powered by a Lycoming IO 540-V4A5 260 hp engine and is equipped with a digital glass cockpit. In 2016, the Super Mushshak secured sales in Nigeria (10), Qatar (eight) and Turkey (52).
PAC is also configuring the Super Mushshak for light attack missions, namely through the provision of FT-10 air-to-surface munitions and L3 Wescam MX-10 electro-optical and infrared sensor pod. However, it is unclear if PAC intends to pitch this as a combat-ready CAS weapon or as a training solution for preparing crews that will use platforms such as the Mi-35M and A-29 for CAS missions.