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Nigeria budgets additional payment for JF-17 order from Pakistan

In its federal budget proposal for 2018, Nigeria has allocated NGN 13.12 billion ($36 million U.S.) as a payment for an order for three JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters – along with support equipment and spare parts – from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

This follows an earlier allocation in 2016 worth NGN 5 billion ($13.9 m U.S.).

Nigeria’s budget proposal confirms that the Nigerian Air Force’s order for three JF-17s is still in place, but it is being executed through installments paid in cash. The Nigerian Air Force, PAC and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) have yet to release a timeline for deliveries.

In its budget proposal for 2017, Nigeria had earmarked $68.76 million U.S. for platforms for “counter air, counter surface, air ops for strategic effect and air support operations.”

It appears that the JF-17 is sharing the allocation with the Russian Helicopters Mi-35M, for which Nigeria took delivery of two and has 10 on order (with delivery slated for 2018), and potentially 12 A-29 Super Tucano turboprop-powered close air support (CAS) and light-strike aircraft.

In August 2017, the U.S. State Department greenlit a proposal worth $593 million U.S. to sell A-29 Super Tucanos to Nigeria. In December 2017, the U.S. submitted a letter-of-acceptance (LOA) to the Nigerian Air Force to finalize the purchase and issue initial payments by February 2018.

In July 2017, the Nigerian Air Force started taking delivery of the Super Mushshak trainers it ordered from PAC in 2016. PAC delivered five new-built aircraft, replacing the interim aircraft it had lent in December 2016. Nigeria has a total of 10 Super Mushshak on order.

On the surface, it would seem as though the JF-17 is factoring as a lower priority on the Nigerian Air Force’s procurement roadmap, certainly in comparison to the A-29 (which is to have a launch order of 12 planes).

However, defence analyst, historian, writer and retired Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officer Air Commodore (AC) Kaiser Tufail told Quwa that he believes there is a strong rationale for the small launch order:

“Nigerian Air Force has taken an incremental approach to the induction of the JF-17. Considering the fact that it does not operate an advanced modern fighter other than a dozen F-7NI (a variant of F-7MG), it seems sensible to have ordered three-odd JF-17, on which maintenance crews would get trained, followed by pilots that will form the core and be available for follow-on inductions.

Tufail added that incremental purchasing also makes fiscal sense, “Financially, it also makes sense to stagger the purchase so that it can be funded from within own resources, rather than overburdening the economy by taking loans.” In addition, by committing a few Block-IIs for a start for primarily acclimation, Tufail stated that Nigeria can stage the bulk of its future procurement for the forthcoming JF-17 Block-III:

“From an operational standpoint, a small purchase of the existing Block-II aircraft leaves open the option of inducting Block-III, which is likely to be available in about two years or so. During this time the NAF would have set up the basic infrastructure and trained sufficient pilots to induct the more advanced version of the JF-17.”

Finally, with PAC mostly focused on fulfilling the requirements of the PAF (i.e. fulfilling the PAF’s objective of supplanting a 190 aircraft by 2020), a small export order is sustainable:

“While the NAF may not be ready to induct the JF-17 en masse for the above-stated reasons, PAC Kamra is also constrained by its production capacity, as it has to cater for the PAF which needs to replace its older fleet of Mirage III/5 and F-7 at the rate of one squadron per year. Apparently, the small initial order suits PAC quite well, since the export orders have finally started, and more countries in Asia and Africa are likely to take the cue from NAF.”

Nigeria will join Myanmar as the second third-party user of the FC-1/JF-17 platform. Myanmar signed its order for 16 FC-1 during the 2015 Paris Air Show. Myanmar’s first FC-1 was spotted undergoing flight tests in China in June 2017.

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  • by Ronny Abbasi
    Posted January 8, 2018 1:21 am 0Likes

    Shouldnt have given the JF17 to the genocidal regime of Myanmar.

  • by Omar Dar
    Posted January 8, 2018 1:41 am 0Likes

    Congrats to Pakistan on this major achievement. In addition to this, I have a strong feeling that major countries including China are waiting for the Block-3 to make a final decision on induction of the JF-17 in their own fleets. The Block-2 was a brilliant decision by the PAF to replace the older jets in its service and so suited only Pakistan. But other air forces like the Turkish (F-5), Saudi (F-5) and Chinese (J-7) always operated light single engined jets, and there is no reason why they won’t want one now.

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 8, 2018 2:36 am 0Likes

    JF-17 is a JV. Pakistan does not own this jet 100%. China has a big say as well. Hence such assumptions should not be made that it’s only Pakistan’s decision.

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 8, 2018 2:36 am 0Likes

    The JF-17 block 1 and 2 are NOT “advanced modern fighters”. And i’m amazed Kaiser tufail makes a reference to F-7 as an “advanced modern fighter” too. This is unbelievable!

    The JF-17 block 3, considering it is equipped with all expected 4.5th gen elements, may be considered a sufficiently advanced modern fighter.

    The sole reason for JF-17 existing is PAF’s difficulties in acquiring an actual “advanced modern fighter” from the west in the 90s and beyond. It has since transformed into a tool for PAF to acquire and absorb fighter jet know-how to create one for itself – considering the perpetual difficulties and shortage of funds.

    It’s most likely that NAF has no finances to make purchases and there’s no guarantee or real need for them to for block 3. Largely they only need ground strike package.

  • by Bilal Khan
    Posted January 8, 2018 3:24 am 0Likes

    In a sense he isn’t wrong. In Sub Saharan Africa the F-7NGI is relatively quite capable and the JF-17 with what it offers is a significant upgrade package to the vast, vast majority of planes there (bar perhaps the Gripen in South Africa).

  • by Joseph
    Posted January 8, 2018 4:09 am 0Likes

    I think Myanmar order was signed in 2015. Nobody would know 2 years later genocide would happen.

  • by sami shahid
    Posted January 8, 2018 4:58 am 0Likes

    Pakistan can sell it to any nation as every nation does not have the capacity to buy twin engine fighter air crafts whereas China manufactures twin engine air crafts.

  • by Tamzid Karim
    Posted January 8, 2018 6:48 am 0Likes

    Myanmar signed the deal with China for JF-17M/FC-1 Rubi. Now as it’s a join venture project between China and Pakistan, according to the deal both countries will produce their share of components in case of any export order that comes either to China or to Pakistan.

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 8, 2018 6:49 am 0Likes

    Myanmar contract is dealt by CAC/AVIC not PAC. Also Pakistan cannot sell it to any nation if both China and Pakistan are not on board. In this particular case, Chinese want to sell it to Myanmar – PAC is not objecting it – it’s simply neutral.

    “Reports emerged in February that Myanmar was also in talks with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to produce the FC-1 – possibly the active electronically-scanned array radar-equipped Block-III variant – under license.”

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 8, 2018 7:02 am 0Likes

    Yes indeed they are as you say, but today an advanced fighter is defined to be at least in class of 4.5th gen – since the US and other countries are already working on a 6th gen fighter. I don’t think 3rd and 3.5th gen fighters can be or should be considered advanced by any modern standard for an airforce like PAF and neither should Pakistanis take comfort in it – pride yes – comfort no. And it’s important you do not confuse the two.

    Multirole and night capability is 90ish. It does not make a fighter jet advanced today.

  • by Engr Abu Bakar
    Posted January 8, 2018 8:16 am 0Likes

    and i’m amazed to see that you have not yet read this teaser with attention. Kaiser tufail said F-7 is the most advanced among all those operated by NAF, not the most advanced in this world…..

  • by Engr Abu Bakar
    Posted January 8, 2018 8:26 am 0Likes

    you don;t have Rafael(at least for 2 years) and you are talking about confront ,You dont have f-16(at least for 5 years) and you are talking about comperison. Your su-30 availability rate is hardly 60 percent this means out of your 270 su’s only 160 will be available if there spread a war.
    When Rafael come here comes Block lll, when come f16 here comes a more advanced version of jf-17, When come AMCA here comes either J-31 of Indigenous fighter jet plan.
    so Keep calm!!!!!!

  • by U
    Posted January 8, 2018 8:57 am 0Likes

    LoL, welcome new guy. 😅😊

  • by Asif Khan_47
    Posted January 8, 2018 10:28 am 0Likes

    Ah ha, you forgot all those Su-27 flying for Angola, Eritrea, and Uganda?

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 8, 2018 12:07 pm 0Likes

    I don’t think it’s me who needs to read it again – read it again.

    “Considering the fact that it (NAF) does not operate an advanced modern fighter other than a dozen F-7NI”…

    Now i’m not sure about your comprehension skills here, but it’s pretty apparent to me that he made a general reference to F-7 (and JF-17) – not specifically in reference to NAF.

    Also, coming to the point, if you are a trying to put forward F-7 or JF-17 1/2 just because PAF flies it, you need to educate yourself on aviation trends and standards.

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 8, 2018 12:12 pm 0Likes

    I am not an Indian. And being critical of PAF does not make me or anyone an Indian.

    You are new here perhaps. So thank you for your comments but they are irrelevant and superficial.

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 8, 2018 12:14 pm 0Likes

    And by the way – the fighter jet is called Rafale.

    Rafael is an Israeli defence company.

  • by Amir Timur
    Posted January 8, 2018 12:47 pm 0Likes

    Looks like fauj is on the lookout for fresh cavalry again. Janes reports PA might be interested in the Norinco tank again.
    Would be interesting to have someone start a discussion of possible armour solutions for the army. Retaining numbers around 3000 for a credible MBT platform is an uphill task, but will give a credible conventional push to the military if an effective third gen advanced system is chosen. With HIT modernizing production facilities, the show seems to have began. This, after the closely followed interest shown in the Ukranian Oplot-M baby.
    Other options, anyone? This needs to be a leap, remember that, or it isn’t worthwhile.

  • by TZK
    Posted January 9, 2018 4:47 am 0Likes

    It should work both ways and Pak could let the Chinese know that they should use whatever influence they have with Myanmar to put an end to the ethnic cleansing.

  • by TZK
    Posted January 9, 2018 4:57 am 0Likes

    The geopolitics have changed again and we have a polarised world. In this climate nations that do not want to get into bed with either of the big powers should be looking at the JF-17 as they will never get sanctioned or deprived of parts.

  • by Obi Obiora
    Posted January 9, 2018 8:09 am 0Likes

    Nigeria is fighting a war with insurgents, in a non contested airspace. The super Tucano is the most logical warplane both tactically and strategically for the work. The JF 17 though will most likely used for the war, it is not being bought for this purpose, it”s purchase is more for it’s strategic value. It is more a diplomatic weapon. Nigeria is not engaged in any cold war with any of our neighbors, and we also do not want to kick-start a regional arms race by purchasing expensive and extremely destructive war machines, we do however want to remain the regional super power.That it’s our strategic objective, which ultimately define how and what weaponry we acquire.

  • by bigbang
    Posted January 9, 2018 2:57 pm 0Likes

    Good move by the Nigerian airforce.

  • by Nasir
    Posted January 9, 2018 3:19 pm 0Likes

    What is an Engr? Is is faulty characterization of “anger”? Is is a real name?

    It does not seem like an acronym as that would be ENGR.

    No offense intended.



  • by Engr Abu Bakar
    Posted January 10, 2018 4:15 am 0Likes

    yes i m new.and thanks for having me!!

  • by Jigsaw
    Posted January 10, 2018 6:43 am 0Likes

    you’re welcome and thanks to Quwa.

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