The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has signed an agreement with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) for the acquisition of ten Super Mushshak trainer aircraft.
“The contract signing ceremony was held at Abuja where Air Vice Marshal Iya Ahmed Abdullahi and Air Marshal Arshad Malik, Chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), signed the contract,” Pakistan Air Force (PAF) spokesman Syed Mohammad Ali said on 21 October.
“This contract would not only open new avenues for export of aviation equipment to foreign countries but also help in generating revenue for the country,” a Pakistan Air Force statement said.
The contract signed with Nigeria includes training and technical support. It is understood that Pakistani pilots will train personnel in Nigeria. Earlier this year Nigerian Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar said the Air Force had expanded one of its facilities to accommodate the new aircraft, which will be used for pilot training.
Nigeria has ten pilots undergoing training in the United Kingdom and another ten in South Africa while eight fighter and helicopter pilots are being trained at the International Aviation College in Ilorin, Nigeria.
The Super Mushshak is a more advanced, upgraded and modernised variant of the MFI-17 Mushshak basic trainer (itself a development of the Saab Supporter). The two/three seat Super Mushshak is equipped with an advanced glass cockpit, allowing it to be flown in all weather conditions. Although its docile handling characteristics and side-by-side seating make it an excellent ab-initio training aircraft, it is also capable of caring weapons and cameras. Equipped with a 260 hp Lycoming piston engine, the aircraft is simple to operate and maintain. It is also certified for aerobatics and visitors to AAD will see the aircraft perform close to its positive 6g and negative 3g limits.
The PAF has a 120 Super Mushshak aircraft in service, with the Pakistani Army having an even larger inventory, with 220 aircraft used for logistic and transport missions.
The aircraft is already in service in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran. Qatar and the Turkish Air Forces have also signed deals with PAC to buy the aircraft this year. The PAC is looking at two or three other African countries to add to this list of recent sales.
Not only has Nigeria purchased the Super Mushshak, but the NAF is also preparing to induct three JF-17 Thunder multi-role light fighters. Nigeria plans to order up to 20 JF-17s from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.
According to Nigeria’s 2016 budget which President Muhammadu Buhari presented to a joint session of the National Assembly in December 2015, the Nigerian Air Force aims to acquire three JF-17s this year, and has budgeted $25 million towards this. $10.2 million was allocated for 10 Super Mushshak basic trainers, and $56 million for two Mi-35M helicopters.