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Pakistan Secures Multi-Million Dollar Deal to Supply JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets to Iraq

India is intensifying efforts to promote its ‘Tejas’ Light Combat Aircraft for sale, while its Western rival has reportedly secured a significant deal to supply 12 JF-17 Thunder Block III fighter jets to the Iraqi Air Force.

If finalized, this agreement will make Iraq the fourth or fifth customer of the JF-17 fighter jets, while India’s LCA Tejas relies on substantial orders from the Indian Air Force.

This development closely follows Pakistan’s procurement of another multi-million-dollar deal to deliver 12 MFI-17 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft to Zimbabwe.

Credible sources within the Pakistan Air Force confirmed an agreement worth US $1.8 billion with Baghdad, covering the supply of 12 units each of the MFI Mushshak trainer and JF-17 fighter aircraft.

The sale follows a significant defense cooperation agreement with Iraq, signed during talks between Pakistan Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Babar and Iraqi Ministry of Defense officials.

The Iraqi Air Force received its initial tranche of Mushshak aircraft in 2023 and opted for a second tranche from Pakistan after successful induction.

The MFI-17 Super Mushshak, a lightweight, robust, two/three-seater, single-engine aircraft, meets US FAR 23 certifications and can operate from short, unprepared strips.

After supplying 12 more Mushshak trainer aircraft, Pakistan plans to provide twelve JF-Thunder Block III fighter jets to Iraq, with technical details currently being finalized.

JF-17 and India’s LCA Tejas have been competing for export orders, with the former securing sales to Nigeria, Myanmar, and Azerbaijan.

Despite concerns about the JF-17’s engine reliability, it has become a flag bearer of Pakistan’s defense exports, contributing to the country’s defense industry and economy.

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