Nigeria is near to buy JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter from Pakistan. The West African country has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that covers the sale of the aircraft.

The total number of aircraft that Nigeria might be ordering is still not known (in January, Nigerian federal budget document had revealed that the country was buying three JF-17 Thunder fighters and 10 Super Mushshak aircraft) but the deal is expected to be finalized in November, during the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in Karachi.
Pakistan and China had jointly developed the aircraft and the latter has started manufacturing JF-17 (Joint Fighter) at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). That's why Nigeria could be the first export operator of the fighter (Myanmar has ordered them from China).
The aircraft uses Russia's Klimov RD-93 turbofan jet engine with afterburner, has China's PL-12/SD-10 medium-range air-to-air missiles with active radar-homing and short-range PL-7, PL-8 and PL-9 and can also be fitted with AIM-9P on its wingtip rails, and has no in-flight refuelling capability.
It is not known if other African countries were interested in JF-17, but Pakistani official has also revealed that Turkey has finalised a deal to buy Super Mushshak trainers that's in its final stages early this year.
Pakistan's Super Mushshak is an advanced version of Mushshak basic trainer, which is a license-built version of Swedish Saab Safari.
Operators of this Pakistan-made basic trainer include Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and South Africa. Qatar has inked a deal for the aircraft too.
Super Mushshak has a service ceiling of 22.000 feet, maximum speed of 268km/h, a range of 814km and it also can be fitted with armaments weighing 300kg as external load.

Text: Matteo Sanzani
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