Nigerian Air Force appears to be using Turkish targeting pods on its JF-17s

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) appears to have acquired Turkish targeting pods for its JF-17 Thunder jets.

Video footage of the aircraft carrying what Janes says is an Aselpod manufactured by Turkey’s Aselsan emerged on 14 August.

“Aselsan integrated the Aselpod on the Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17s under a contract that was first reported in 2017,” Janes noted. The Chinese WMD-7 targeting pod has also been integrated onto the JF-17.

According to Aselsan, the Aselpod is a high performance electro-optical reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting system designed specifically for fighter aircraft. The multi-sensor targeting pod consists of a forward-looking infrared, laser rangefinder/target designator, laser spot tracker, and laser pointer. The pod can provide video tracking and highly accurate geo-location coordinates. The pod is 2.3 metres long and weights 240 kg.

Nigerian JF-17s will likely use the Aselpod to designate laser-guided bombs – the NAF ordered GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs from the United States along with its 12 A-29 Super Tucanos.

The Nigerian Air Force received three JF-17s from the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in March 2021 and these were inducted into service that May. An option for eight additional aircraft is included in the contract.