Nigerian military and political leadership has unanimously conveyed complete satisfaction on the performance of newly inducted JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan.
This was conveyed to General Nadeem Raza, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, who is on official visit to Nigeria, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (IPR) in a statement on Saturday.
The Nigerian military and political leadership also mentioned that the JF-17 aircraft, with its unique fighting capabilities, would prove to be a potent platform in addressing the security requirements of Nigeria.
General Nadeem Raza called on Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria. He also had separate meetings with Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Retd), Defence Minister, General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff, and chiefs of the tri-services.
Matters of bilateral military cooperation including security, counter-terrorism and prevailing regional environment were discussed during the meetings, said the statement.
President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari conveyed his feelings of high esteem for the Pakistan armed forces. He specially thanked Pakistan and its Armed Forces for their consistent support to Nigeria in its war against terrorism. The chairman JCSC also reiterated that Pakistan is keen to expand its existing bilateral military to military cooperation with Nigeria.
Earlier upon arrival at the Nigerian Defence Headquarters, the chairman JCSC was presented a guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of Nigerian armed forces. Earlier in May last, Nigeria’s Air Force officially took delivery of three JF-17 fighter aircraft during a ceremony at a base in Makurdi amid celebrations marking the 57th anniversary of the service.
The fighters were handed over by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, which constructed the aircraft and was responsible for their delivery.
Nigerian Defence Minister Bashir Magashi, on the occasion, thanked Pakistan and its Air Force for their role in modernising the local service and helping Nigeria meet its security challenges. “We are happy and excited about the addition of JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan,” he said. The Nigerian Air Force’s main operational and security concern remains the militant group Boko Haram in the country’s north and it is believed the JF-17 will make a considerable impact in addressing the threat.
The aircraft is quite suitable for counterinsurgency operations, as it carries a wide variety of weapons, including several with considerable stand-off ranges. The electro-optical pod is also available for pinpoint attacks round the clock. The aircraft is likely to prove a game changer against Boko Haram.