Pakistan has provided an $184 million government guarantee to cover production of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets for the Nigerian Air Force as the Nigerian government continues to fund the type.
Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved the $184.3 million sovereign guarantee for the production of three Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC)/Chengdu JF-17 fighters, according to the Pakistan Express Tribune.
The newspaper reported that Ministry of Defence Production officials had said PAC Kamra had signed a contract for the sale off three JF-17s to Nigeria. It is not clear how many JF-17s Nigeria will ultimately order, as it has only made small payments over the last several years towards the fighters.
According to Nigeria’s 2018 Federal Appropriation Bill that was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in June this year, the Nigerian government approved a part-payment of $47 million towards three JF-17s in addition to $33 million for the existing procurement of three JF-17s. In 2016 Nigeria budgeted $25 million for the JF-17 purchase.
The Nigerian acquisition of the JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter jets is part of an ongoing fleet modernisation programme that includes the procurement of eight Russian-made Mi-35M attack helicopters and up to 12 A-29 Super Tucano close air support aircraft from the US.