Iraq to buy JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft from Pakistan

Iraq buy JF17 Thunder Pakistan
CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder.

Iraq appears to have decided to purchase JF-17 Thunder Block III fighter jets from Pakistan. According to local media, the agreement was confirmed by both the Iraqi and Pakistani governments with the formal document expected to be signed in Islamabad next month.

After a lengthy negotiation between Iraq and Pakistan, the Iraqi government approved the amount of $ 664 million for the purchase of 12 Pakistan-made fighter jets. The deal was finalized during the visit to Pakistan by the deputy commander of the Iraqi Air Force Major General Muhammad Majeed Mahdi Mahmood.

Talks between the two nations had intensified in recent months. During a business trip to Pakistan in May, Iraqi Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Juma Inad Saadoun discussed with Pakistani leaders about Iraq's interest in purchasing JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. The month before, General Nadeem Raza, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan had also traveled to Baghdad to discuss defense cooperation.

Pakistan recently showed Iraq the capabilities of the JF-17 Thunder at the International Defense Exhibition Iraq 2021 (IQDEX 2021) which was held in Baghdad last April. Some websites said the Thunder demo display greatly wowed Iraqi defense leaders. However, as far as we know, the event took place in an indoor fairground, without any flying displays.

Some media have also confirmed the purchase of the JF-17 by Argentina in recent weeks, but this news has been officially denied by the Argentine Ministry of Defense. Pakistan is currently offering the Thunder in tenders in Iraq, Argentina and Malaysia.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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