As Nigeria battles insurgency and militancy the Presidency seems to be taken steps to ensure that the military is adequately equipped to protect the country and its citizens.
According to International Business Times, Nigeria is set to buy a JF-17 Thunder multi-role combat aircraft from Pakistan. Already the Nigerian government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that covers the sale of the aircraft.
A JF-17 Thunder fighter participates in a flying display during the 51st Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 16, 2015.
According to IHS a financial services company, the purchase of the aircraft is expected to be finalised in November. During that month there will be an international defence exhibition and seminar in Karachi.
The plane is co-developed by the Aviation Industry Corp of China and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, according to local media. It is good to note that the Obama administration has refused to fund the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
A senior official of Pakistan’s defence export promotion organization, who spoke on the sale refused to reveal the total number of aircraft that Nigeria might be ordering.
However, in January, the Nigerian federal budget document had revealed that the country was buying three JF-17 Thunder fighters and 10 Super Mushshak aircraft, which are aircraft used for training military and civil operators flight operations.
The aircraft was jointly developed by Pakistan and China and China has now started manufacturing JF-17 (Joint Fighter) at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The aircraft, however, uses Russia’s Klimov RD-93 turbofan jet engine with afterburner.
PAC MFI-17 Mushshak basic trainer aircraft
The aircraft 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. The aircraft can also be fitted with AIM-9P on its wingtip rails, the report noted. The aircraft has no in-flight refuelling capability.
Meanwhile, PAC has put JF-17 aircraft as static display in African Aerospace and Defence Exhibition held at Waterkloof Air Force Base in South Africa. A joint press conference with China highlighted the capabilities of the aircraft and drummed them into inducting the aircraft, the Dawn reported.
It is not yet known if there are any other African countries interested in the aircraft.
Meanwhile, a Premium Times report states that one of the key resolutions at the recent retreat organized by the FG was a four- pronged funding plan to generate and inject massive foreign capital, estimated at between $10 and $15 billion (about N4.72 trillion – at N320 to the dollar) into the economy.
The minister of budget and national planning, Udoma Udoma, said the stimulus plan would be funded majorly through sale of some national assets, advance payment by joint venture operators for license renewals, infrastructure concessions, use of recovered funds etc, and long term, low interest loans to bridge funding gap.