The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has inducted three JF-17 Thunder jets procured from Pakistan during a ceremony held at Makurdi Air Base in Benue State.

The ceremony took place on 20 May and was performed by Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari. The induction marked the end of NAF Day Celebration 2021.

A JF-17 jet bearing tail number NAF722 was displayed on the airfield of Makurdi during the ceremony. The aircraft will serve as NAF’s frontline multi-role fighter jet.

JF-17 Thunder is a single-engine, lightweight, multipurpose combat aircraft developed jointly by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) of Pakistan.

NAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao said: “These aircraft have significantly boosted our operational effectiveness in the fight to defeat all threats to the nation and its citizenry.

“Through synergy with surface forces, the freedom of action of the insurgents/terrorists in the north-east has been effectively curtailed.

“Consequently, NAF combat and combat support operations, energised by our up-scaled Order of Battle, have contributed to improving the security situation in the north-east, whilst also contributing significantly to dealing with threats in the north-west, north central and other parts of the country.”

The CAS further disclosed that the NAF is expecting 20 additional platforms, comprising 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the US and eight UAVs.

In March, NAF said it will take delivery of the first six of a total 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft in mid-2021.