Iraq to buy JF-17 Thunder aircraft from Pakistan


ISLAMABAD – Iraq has become the fifth country to enter a $664 million deal with Pakistan for the purchase of JF-17 Thunder aircraft.


Earlier, Pakistan sold JF-17 Block III aircraft to Malaysia, Nigeria, Azerbaijan and Myanmar. Pakistan has been manufacturing the fighter aircraft in collaboration with China.

Keeping in view the Thunder’s might, several countries have shown interest in Pakistan’s pride. Earlier, Argentine had studied the combat aircraft. Sources said the Iraqi government has approved an outlay of $664 million for the purchase of 12 JF-17 Thunder Block III fighter jets from Pakistan.

It was reported earlier that Iraq had signed a contract with a Pakistani company to purchase an unspecified number of aircraft, believed to be JF-17 Block III.

Iraqi Defence Minister Jumaa Inad has been quoted as saying, “We signed a contract with a Pakistani company to purchase aircraft.” The negotiations for the sale of the jets continued for more than two years.

The defence deal was approved by the governments of Pakistan and Iraq. The JF-17 Block III jets, which are the latest model of the successful JF-17, could be a welcome addition to the Iraqi Air Force.

Iraq is interested in acquiring JF-17 Thunder jets to use them against drones since it has been facing constant threat of their use by its adversaries.

The purchase of aircraft from Pakistan would be the biggest defence deal between the two countries in about forty years, the sources said.

Nigeria has already inducted JF-17 Thunder aircraft in its air force and they are providing services in a satisfactory manner, the sources added.

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