Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra formally handed over 3 JF-17 Thunder aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force during a solemn ceremony marking its 57th anniversary.
Nigerian Defense Minister Maj. Gen. (retd) Bashir Magashi, representing the Nigerian President, attended the ceremony as the Chief Guest.
Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Syed Noman Ali was specially invited to attend the ceremony.
Addressing the ceremony, the special guest said, “We are grateful to Pakistan and the Pakistan Air Force for enhancing the capabilities of the Nigerian Air Force to meet the security challenges, for bilateral cooperation and partnership.”
“We are extremely pleased and excited to have the JF-17 fighter jets acquired from the Pakistan Air Force join the Nigerian Air Force,” he said.
Expressing his views on the occasion, Air Marshal Syed Noman Ali said that today’s event was an important milestone in further strengthening the relations between Nigeria and Pakistan.
“The two brotherly countries have a historic commitment to strengthening military cooperation and mutual trust,” he said.
He said the inclusion of modern fighter jets such as the JF-17 would give the Nigerian Air Force a military advantage, adding that the consignment of fighter jets with unique combat capabilities would be a strong platform in defending Nigeria’s airspace.
He assured Nigeria that Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra would continue to help meet all the needs of the Nigerian Air Force.
It should be noted that Nigeria has added JF-17 Thunder aircraft from Pakistan to its fleet.
It is noteworthy that Pakistan Aeronautical Complex has handed over the aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force as per the schedule fixed in March this year, despite the challenges posed by Covid 19.
JF-17 Thunder aircraft
Equipped with new features and state-of-the-art equipment, the JF-17 Thunder is a joint venture between Pakistan and China.
Made in Pakistan with the help of Chinese technicians, the JF-17 Thunder is a lightweight multi-role aircraft capable of flying at speeds twice the speed of sound to an altitude of 55,000 feet.
Production of the aircraft began in 1999 and its first test flight took place in 2003.