Nigerian Air Force to Formally Induct JF-17 Fighter Jets

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will formally induct its newly acquired JF-17 Thunder multi-role aircraft to add impetus to the ongoing fight against “insurgency, armed banditry and other forms of criminality” in the country.

The JF-17 thunder induction ceremony is part of the activities marking the 57th Anniversary celebration (of the Air Force) scheduled to take place in Makurdi Air Force Base (AFB) during 19-20 May 2021. This was disclosed on May 15 by the Chairman, NAF Day 2021 Organizing Committee, Air Vice Marshal Hassan Abubakar while briefing local journalists.

The induction of the JF-17 Thunder aircraft and aerial display, the Chairman said, would be take place on 20 May to mark the end of the 57th Anniversary Celebration, the NAF announced in a post on its official Facebook page.

The Nigerian Air Force has taken delivery of all three JF-17 Thunder fighters it purchased from Pakistan. On 29 April a Pakistan Air Force Il-76 transport flew into Makurdi AFB where the last of the JF-17 Block II aircraft was unloaded. The first aircraft was delivered on March 21 this year.

The three aircraft have since been re-assembled with experts from Pakistan aiding NAF crew. Pre-delivery photos put on social media by NAF crew show the registration numbers of the three acraft as NAF-720, NAF-721 and NAF-722.

In 2018 Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved a $184.3 million sovereign guarantee for the sale of three JF-17 fighters, an official statement has then said.

Since mid-2020, Nigerian Air Force pilots and crew for the JF-17 have been training in Pakistan.


  • Shantanu K. Bansal

    Founder of IADN. He has more than 10 years of experience in research and analysis. An award winning researcher, he writes for the leading defence and security journals, think-tanks and in-service publications. He is a senior consultant at the Indian Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Shimla. Contact him at:

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