JF-17 Thunder Block 2 S. No. 2P-60 for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is undergoing flight tests over the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The two other aircraft for NAF, S. Nos. 2P-61 and 2P-62, are also undergoing flight tests. Moreover Nigerian pilots and maintenance crew have arrived in Pakistan for training. PAC will hand over all three JF-17s to NAF by mid Nov, 2020.
Nigeria had inked a contract to purchase three JF-17 Thunder Block II fighter jets in March 2019. It was back in March 2019 when the deal was set in motion. Pakistani government’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved a $184.3 million sovereign guarantee covering the delivery of three PAC/CAC JF-17 Thunder fighter jets to the NAF.
The Nigerian JF-17 Block II’s price tag of approximately $60 million each include aircraft and an array of weapons including air-to-air and air-to-ground aircraft and guided munitions. The bare-bones price tag of a Block 2 JF-17 is around US$40 million. Myanmar is also a potential customer of JF-17. Pakistan is already in talks with Malaysia for sale of JF-17s to Malaysian Air Force. At the same time PAC has developed a twin seat version called JF-17 B for enhanced operational capability and training. There is potential to export close to a billion dollars worth of JF-17s.
The NAF is expected to push the aircraft into the thick of battle against BHT. Hence The air-to-ground capability of the JF-17 will be tested in terms of pin-point strikes against the BHT. The Block-II is capable of precision-strike through satellite-guided and laser-guided bombs. JF-17 Thunder has accumulated 19,000 hours of operational flight since its induction in 2011. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used JF-17 Thunder to bomb militant positions in North Waziristan using both unguided munitions and guided missiles.