By Muhammad Luqman
The Economic Coordination Committee of Pakistan’s federal cabinet given a green signal for the sale of JF-17 thunder aircraft to Nigeria while talks are under way with several other countries to export indigenously produced jet fighter.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production informed the economic decision-making committee that Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra has signed a contract for the sale of three JF-17 aircraft and associated package to Nigerian Air Force for US $ 184.3 million.
Pakistan had requested the African nation that it would issue a certificate of sovereign guarantee rather than a sovereign bank guarantee.
The guarantee deals with ensuring that the jets and associated equipment would be provided by Pakistan.
Nigeria is Pakistan’s second international customer for its domestically assembled JF-17 thunder multi-role fighter jet after Myanmar. The Pakistani aircraft is a cost-effective and competitive alternative than the western fighter aircraft available in the market, according to media reports.
According to officials, Pakistan is also holding talks with at least three other countries including Malaysia, Azerbaijan and a Gulf nation for the sale of JF-17 batch II, which is more sophisticated and advanced than other aircraft of similar capabilities including India’s Teja.
In 2010, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) equipped its first squadron with JF-17 multi-role fighter, developed jointly with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). In recent years, PAC has successfully inducted more than 100 JF-17 Block-I and Block-II and anticipating for the more advanced Block III which includes major upgrade in electronic subsystems, a Gulfnews report said.