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Anti-terrorism: Nigeria Set To Induct JF-17 Thunder Multirole Fighter Jets

The Nigerian Air Force recently took delivery of three JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter jets from Pakistan.

Nigeria is set to induct three newly acquired JF-17 Thunder multiple fighter jets, as the country continues to intensify the use of airpower for internal security operations.

The induction of the fourth generation all weather, day and night, multi-role fighter JF-17 will make the aircraft the most advanced fixed-wing in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) inventory since the decommissioning of the air force Anglo-French SEPECAT Jaguar jets in the early 1990s.

The JF-17 combat aircraft is manufactured jointly by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex of Pakistan.

According to the Air Force, the induction will be part of the activities marking its 57th anniversary scheduled to take place between May 19 and 20 in the North-central city of Makurdi, Benue State, where the Tactical Air Command (TAC) is located. 

In Dec. 2020, three NAF JF-17 jets were seen on display during the formal induction of Pakistani Air Force dual-seat JF-17 block II and launch of Block-III production. 

HumAngle understands that technical, mechanical and operational constraints associated with the small quantity of the aircraft acquired could impact the availability of the aircraft for military operations against armed groups.  

It is still unclear if or when the air force will make future orders for the JF-17 and what variant of the aircraft will be purchased.

Nigeria’s fixed-wing combat aircraft comprises the two variants of the light attack and advanced trainer Alpha jets, the L-39ZA Albatros attack aircraft and F-7NI fighter jets. 

The surviving F-7NI jets, which were acquired in the early 2000s from Chengdu Aircraft Corporation are temporarily out of service for in-depth overhaul and maintenance.

The Air Force is also expecting the arrival of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States of America, with the first batch of aircraft expected in Kainji Airbase at the end of the Second Quarter of 2021.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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