A NAF F7 AirGuard jet pilots and foreign counterparts at a NAF airbase

A NAF F7 AirGuard jet pilots and foreign counterparts at a NAF airbase

Abuja, Nigeria
(with additional reporting by CHANNELS TELEVISION)
15 May, 2013

Pakistan has pledged to cooperate fully with Nigeria to enable the West African nation’s Air Force achieve its full potentials. This indication was given here Tuesday by the Pakistani Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, at the start of a five-day
official visit to Air Force facilities in
Nigeria. The visit is also aimed at strengthening military cooperation between the two countries.

At a meeting here with top Nigerian Air
Force officials, Air Chief Marshal Butt
‘literally gave an open check of cooperation to the Nigerians’, saying that “the Pakistani Air Force and the Defence Industries of Pakistan will not hold anything back from the Nigerian people and the Nigerian Air Force. When we cooperate more, we will develop to reach higher heights.’ He pledged to work out “precisely what to do to help the Nigerian Air Force achieve its full potentials’.

PANA reports that Pakistani Air Force
personnel are already in Nigeria working with their Nigerian Air Force counterparts on the maintenance of equipment. Specifically, two Pakistani pilots are in the base of the Chinese jet fighter fleet, the F-7NI and FT-7NI jets, providing technical assistance on the aircraft. They were brought in following the spate of crashes and loss of maintenance schedules on the fleet. The problem with the maintenance of the
F-7s caused their grounding last October. They were, however, cleared to resume flying following the assistance of the Pakistani Air Force.

Speaking at the meeting, the Nigerian
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex
Sabundu Badeh, lauded the Pakistanis for their cooperation with Nigeria.Badeh said that in the maintenance of
the F-7 aircraft, “you (Pakistanis) sent
teams that looked at them and told NAF
what to do. We already have instructor
pilots on the F-7s. We are looking for
further assistance on the C-130 aircraft as we need an instructor pilot on the C-130.”

Air Chief Marshal Butt later held a
meeting with top officials of the Defence Headquarters, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim. During his visit, Butt is expected to travel to three operational commands of the Nigerian Air Force – the Tactical Air Command in Makurdi, the Training Command in Kaduna and the Logistics Command in Lagos.

Channels Television reports monitored by Beegeagle’s Blog indicate that “Nigeria agreed to strengthen military ties with Pakistan through training and supply of defence equipment.”



About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. beegeagle says:

    Hmn, Oga Henry..everyday, it becomes clearer that the NAF are indeed within touching distance of the JF-17 Thunder jet like you said. What is this high-level flurry all about?

    Whatever they do, the greater requirement for the NAF is “strike range” in a Nigeria where a Lagos-Arege-Lagos jet hop is 2,000 miles flat. For that mission, on internal fuel, our best bet is the factory upgraded Su-27/new Su-30 since we do not retain the services of air tankers.

    Assuming that the NAF seek to acquire 24 units of JF-17s, methinks it is better we do

    – sixteen JF17 Thunder
    – eight Su-27s

    Much better than 24 JF17s since we end up with the same number of jets in total but for $100 million less(which we can use to acquire ten new L15 Falcon jets) and STILL have the added advantages which the Sukhoi jets would bring to the fleet – deep strike capability+air superiority while enjoying the freshness and COTS versatility of the JF 17 Thunder jets.

    Let us be sure to make all the JF17s, the Block II variant.

    So our men at MKD who have been seeing CKD parts brought in by C130s and trucks and who have been hearing the noise from engine test runs, what is the latest out there? Give us good news.

    • asorockweb says:

      Beegs, Regarding the JF17, don’t you worry that pakistan won’t be able to:
      1) Supply the required numbers quickly enough
      2) Have the infrastructure and processes that is needed to maintain a multi-million dollar combat fleet 10,000km away?

      Are they building the Jf17 quickly enough for their own needs? do they have the resources to start a production line for us?

      • Henry says:

        Oga beeg, it’s becoming much clearer I guess.

        However, For bloggers who do not know what the JF-17 thunder fighter jet is, the JF-17thunder is essentially a modern MIG-29 clone. The culmination of SINO-PAK military co-operation. It is plane is powered by Ukrainian made engines. The multi-role fighter easily does MACH 2.5, and has a range about 1700km( SU-30 has a range of 3500km). It also has very modern chinese avionics, and is very very manoeuvrable ( I saw a video of the jet been flown at last year’s dubai airshow)

        On paper the jet trounces the american made F-16, but it’s major draw back is that it hasn’t been tested in real battle.

        PAK airforce have placed an order 250 JF-17 to replace their fleet of F-7PG

        The chinese call theirs the FC-1

        The planes are affordable and the NAF can easily get 24 of them to complement our fleet of F-7’s, however like oga beeg has stated that would not be a wise decision. We should rather do 16 thunders and 6 SU-27’s like the general proposed.

        All in all the JF-17 thunder is good multi-role fighter, but it would be in our best interest as a nation to do a mix of JF-17’s and SU-27’s or SU-30’s.

        *the pak’s brought one to nigeria during the airforce air expo in 2012.

  2. Yagazie says:

    Beegz, nice one – The JF 17s that will be purchased by the NAF will be the Block II variants- that’s a given.

    However as has been stated time and time again, the purchase of these jets will not fulfil the need for our airforce to have an air-superiority/multi-role fighter -like the SU-27 or Su-30MK2. These jets will have to be purchased whether we like it or not.

    We should really leverage our long-standing defence co-operation with Pakistan and this should be extended to purchase of submarines/training of submariners as well as assistance with DICON in Kaduna. There is also an indigenous tank (‘Khalid?) developed by the Pakistan millitary. They could also assist us with our rocketry/missile programme.

    Let’s watch this space. At least it seems that with the current security situation, the ‘powers that be’ in Abuja have woken up to the need to have a well funded and equipped millitary.

    • ifiok umoeka says:

      Yagz sir, the khalid is a pak variant of the chinese t98 or 99 if I’m not mistaken. While we should accept all assistance, we should remember our non align status and not play into Indo-Pak quarrel, we have nothing to gain by antagonizing India

    • ifiok umoeka says:

      We are on the same page gen beeg and oga yagz (I hope it’s ok 2 call u that) but u see my issue is missile as it become anor matter when strategic toys like ballistic missiles come to play. I agree on other arm while we should try not to have 2 many suppliers as we try to balance and diversify. But SSMs, remember, the source is little kim jung un’s country

    • beegeagle says:

      Hey Yagz..just seen that bit. You know we were training submarine crews in Pakistan a few years ago?


      Which subs do you think would be the first to be inducted by the Navy? Improved Kilo? Song class? Type 209 of Germany?

  3. jimmy says:

    I am logically beginning to think that Nigeria is most certainly going to get the J-17 THUNDER either late this year or very early next year .This is not A CEREMONIAL visit this much we know for sure.The M.O.D. will be wise to READ THE TEA LEAVES.His visit to some of the most sensitive air commands is further proof of this we can only hope and pray that someone will have the well regarded Nigerian courage SOMEWHERE in the N.A.F. to say it is not enough just to acquire the J-17. It is important to THE SECURITY OF Nigeria that it has a plane that can cover a 2000 km RADIUS( especially from the mountains of Mali back to SOKOTO or LAGOS without REFUELING. THIS TYPE OF PLANE WILL BE A SU27 OR SU30 this is not wishful thinking this is proactive security thinking.

  4. beegeagle says:

    If we can’t have the Khalid MBT, because we have always transacted with both countries simultaneously since independence – for instance, General Obasanjo trained in Pakistan while General Babangida trained in India – and even today our SF chaps and senior officers train in both India(surface warfare course and CIJWS) and Pakistan(SEAL course and National Defence University), we cannot afford to get into that rivalry which we have steered clear of since 1960.

    The Khalid MBT is inspired by the Chinese, so why not go for the MBT 2000 direct from China instead..a tank which has just won a bid in Morocco ahead of the Oplot MBT, among others?

    Methinks we could follow through on the Air Defense Missile system from India and the Pipavav OPV-corvettes and get the JF17 Thunder from Pakistan and everyone stays happy that way. If we cannot do the ADM deal, Tata or Mahindra MRAPs would be great. For good measure, Tata already have a truck production line in Lagos(they bought over the ex-Volkswagen of Nigeria plant)

    During General Abbe’s time as Defence Minister, MoD wanted to grab some of that Indian helicopter…what is it called, Dhruv or what?

  5. Yagazie says:

    Oga Ifiok, your comments are noted/well received and I take them on board.

    Of course I agree with you 100% that we should not get involved in the Pakistan- India debacle – i.e. territorial dispute over Khashmir and the Saichen Glacier. Both of these countries are neighbours and will eventually settle their differences or at the very least continue to compromise and live together as they have been doing for the past 66 odd years or so since their partition/ independence from Britian in 1947.

    However thankfully we have very good relations with both countries and both their millitaries have played an important part in the professional development of our armed forces and long may that continue. In my humble view the sole factor that should be the guiding factor in our foreign policy decisions/arms purchases decisions is our long term strategic national interest.

    Nigeria is a non-alligned nation and that is still the case. Thus I can’t see any reason for the Indian Govt to feel antagonised because we purchase arms from Pakistan , as our doing so does not in any way threaten them or their strategic interests. Besides, the Indians are much to mature, practical and savvy to think in such a manner.

  6. beegeagle says:

    Since it is a joint Sino-Pakistani effort, we can always tie in Chinese credit into the deal or do some oil-for-arms swap. Chinese credit is the reason why the Pakistanis are ramping up assets by the hundreds – take the K8 trainer and the JF17s, not to mention pairings of 4 F22P frigates and four Harbin Z-9EC ASW helcs @$700 million. Ditto the deal for Shaanxi ZDK-03 Karakorum Eagle AEW+C planes.

    Sixteen units of JF17 Block II would come down to $400 million. We can pay in oil equivalence..same way Indonesia swapped palm oil for Su-30s with Russia.

    Well, the PAF were the first strategic partners of the Air Force of Zimbabwe and the F7 of yore was the pivot of that relationship which went pretty well between them.

    One would not be too worried about the technical support given the Chinese involvement. The PAF themselves have inducted 48-60 JF17 jets as it stands and they are striking out for about 200 units.

    Let’s see how it goes from here, Oga Asorockweb.

  7. beegeagle says:

    That is correct, Mighty Yagz. India are getting an OPV deal soon enough. So they really need not worry about what we do or do not do with Pakistan.

    Coincidentally, a 16-man delegation from the Indian Defence College led by an AVM were in Abuja to see the HMOSD, Erelu Olusola Obada yesterday. I saw the video clip on NTA News.

  8. (@lordfej) says:

    please Le Gen,i thought there were unconfirmed reports of a new aircraft. Is it this pak jet or the L15 Delfin

  9. Henry says:

    Correction on the JF-17 thunder
    Range= 2037km( not 1700km), not bad I must say

    Speed= 2.2MACH
    Service ceiling= 15,240m
    Arms. = GSH 30 dual-barrel 30mm cannons
    It also has 7 hardpoints

  10. (@lordfej) says: here is a website all about the Jf17 any questions can be resolved there

  11. (@lordfej) says:

    JF-17 Thunder aircraft is an advanced multi-role light combat aircraft jointly developed by Chengdu and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex under a strategic collaboration project. The aircraft is designed to be cost-effective and can meet the tactical and strategic needs of the Pakistan Air Force, and various other air forces. The first prototype made its first test flight in 2003. The letters “J & F” included as title of the aircraft denoting “Joint Fighter”. Pakistan renamed Super-7 as JF-17 (Joint Fighter) Thunder in 2003.

    The JF-17 Thunder, whose performance is matched only by F-16s in the Pakistan Air Force’s current inventory, would be replacing the aging fleet of Mirage, F-7s and A-5s. The aircraft is being considered as a match for the Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which is expected to form the backbone of the Indian Air Force in future. There are, however, some features like advanced and futuristic avionics and cost effectiveness that give the JF-17 an edge over the LCA.

    The JF-17 is a light weight, all weather, multi-role aircraft having a capability to fly at a speed of Mach 1.6 and a high thrust to weight ratio. The aircraft has the ability to engage targets at all speeds and altitudes within the conventional flying envelope. In the surface attack and interdiction role, the aircraft can strike at long distances. The combat jet has been installed with an advanced flight control system, which is a mix of conventional and fly-by-wire controls, making it highly agile and maneuverable.

    The aircraft would be capable of carrying short-range, beyond visual range, anti-ship as well as anti-radiation missiles. Additionally, the carriage of high and low drag bombs, laser guided bombs, run away penetration bombs and cluster bombs would be catered for. However, the air chief parried a question regarding the aircraft’s ability to carry nukes.

  12. ifiok umoeka says:

    Sir henry, greeting. I think u’r mixing up the j 10 with the j17. Though both are single engined, the former uses the su 27 engine while d the later uses the mig 29 engine. The speed stated is more consistent with the former. The later(j17 block ii) having diverterless inlet can barely manage mach 2. The former can fly circles round the later while the claim of trouncing the 16 on paper or otherwise, well… Which one? A,b,c,d, which block?
    Don’t get me wrong, like the Gen said, the bird is ok, especially the block ii with russian engines (r33 variants), italian or french sensors and chinese,french and south african missiles. However, if we want the flanker, why not go for the j10 which use the same engine and save us the logistical nightmare of maintaining multiple engines (3 if u add the chinese LIFT)! May we not make the mistakes of the 80s all over.

    • Henry says:

      Yeah, thanks for the correction, actually I was. Again mig-29, like I stated earlier. The block II, I was referring to the block II in comparism to the 16.

      As regards the j-10, I think you got good points, since we might be going for the JF-17 which is also chinese. All these are speculations though, no hard evidence to back apart from hearsay.

      *i believe the J-11 is the SU-30 clone

  13. Henry says:

    ****developing story****

    By Our Reporters
    LAGOS—Troops, yesterday, moved into Yola, Adamawa State capital and Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, barely 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in response to Boko Haram insurgency which has claimed several lives and destroyed many property.

    Residents and journalists saw military trucks carrying over 2000 soldiers into Yola and Maiduguri, yesterday, in compliance with the president’s orders. The military launched the first phase of its campaign to secure the country’s borders and flush out all terrorists and insurgents from the northern states.

    Vanguard gathered that the entire Northern flank of the armed forces, including the 3rd Armoured Division Jos; the 1st Division Kaduna; Brigade Commands and Components of the Infantry, Artillery, Armoured and Signal Corps have been co-opted into the military onslaught.

    It was also gathered that Air Force Helicopter Gunships, and fighter jets have been put on standby for air bombardment of mountains and hill tops that adorn the three states, where the terrorists and insurgents run to after causing havoc. Towards this end, the headquarters 75 Strike Group in Yola and the Air Combat Attack Group in Kainji where the fighter jets and helicopter gunships are to take off for sorties, have been activated.

    Already, it was gathered that scores of armoured personnel carriers including those for reconnaissance, interjection, long range assault, as well as military vehicles for desert operations, signals and quick intervention action are already on their way to the three states.

    Defence spokesman, Brig. General Chris Olukolade, told Vanguard that the operation which is to be commanded by Major General Jack Enwasiha, Commander of the Joint Task Force in the area, also has Police and DSS contingents.

    His words: “The Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and other security agencies have commenced operations to rid the nation’s border territories of terrorist bases and activities.  The military operation will focus on tracking down criminal elements within the vicinity of border communities prone to terrorist activities.

    “The operations which will involve massive deployment of men and resources is aimed at asserting the nation’s territorial integrity and enhancing the security of constituted governmental structures in all territories within Nigeria’s borders.

    “The operational plans have also briefed participating troops appropriately on arrests, cordon and search especially directed at apprehending those who have been violating sovereignty of Nigeria through terrorist training for insurgency and related activities”.

    No time frame for military operation

    Explaining that there is no time frame for the state of emergency, Olukolade said the operation is expected to put an end to insurgent activities in these parts of the country.

    In this regard, he said: “The Defence Headquarters assures law abiding citizens that every effort has been put in place to ensure safety of civilians and non-combatants while the operation lasts.

    “All citizens are enjoined to cooperate with troops and supply necessary information on criminal and terrorist activities or movements in their localities as the operation is intended to safeguard the nation’s interests and citizens in all parts of the Federation.”

    The Defence spokesman said the operation will spread to anywhere terrorists or insurgents can be found in the entire northern flank adding, “that is why President Goodluck Jonathan is appealing to foreign countries to block their borders and stop the terrorists running into their country.

    Following the presence of troops in Maiduguri, the mood was tense in the city while shops were mostly shut with very few people on the streets. Schools were also closed. A resident in Maiduguri, Ahmed Mari said: “What I saw this morning scared me, I have never seen soldiers on the move quite like this before”. Another resident, Kabir Laoye who expressed fears that civilians could be caught up in the conflict said, “there is a lot of apprehension about the state of emergency”.

  14. Number one says:

    Instead of going for used su-27’s,i will propose we procure the su-27skm it costs about $ we do 24 jf-17($600m) and 12 su-27skm($420m)

  15. Henry says:


    Nigeria on Tuesday agreed to strengthen military ties with Pakistan through training and supply of defence equipment.

    The agreement was reached at a meeting between the head of Pakistan air force, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique-Butt and top Nigerian military officers in Abuja.

    Air Chief Marshal Rafique-Butt, who is on a five-day visit to the country, arrived at the Nigerian Airforce Headquarters in the company of the Nigerian Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Bardeh.

    The visitor told the Nigerian military authorities that the Pakistan air force is eager to collaborate with the Nigerian military to ensure that the country becomes a self-sufficient air force like Pakistan.

    Air Marshal Bardeh thanked the Pakistani delegation for its assistance to the Nigerian Airforce and requested for more assistance and cooperation between the two countries.

    Air Chief Marshal Rafique-Butt restated the need for cooperation, saying he looked forward to seeing the discussions and memorandum of understanding turning to tangible actions.

  16. gbash10 says:

    So the foreign air force officer that delivered a lecture some months ago at TAC is actually a Pakistani air force officer,instead of an Indian air force officer as i suspected then.

  17. beegeagle says:

    Yes, those are the two Pakistani instructor pilots who the CAS spoke about.

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