Over the past few days, reports from open sources of intelligence (OSINT). They reported on progress in negotiations between Iraq and Pakistan for the sale of 12 JF-17 Thunder Block III fighter jets.. While negotiations and interest from the Iraqi Air Force have been known since at least 2021, various media outlets have reported the progress of negotiations, such as details of a potential sale. The innovation comes from Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s visit to Iraq in early June to strengthen ties between the two countries..
At least from 2021, within the framework of strengthening diplomatic ties between Iraq and Pakistan, the two countries have initiated contacts to advance the potential sale of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. The Iraqi Air Force’s interest is focused on the acquisition of 12 units of fighter-bombers developed by PAC and Chengdu, with an option for 6 additional aircraft, at a cost of around US$1,000 million. Addition of weapons package and logistical support to naval operations.
However, news of this nature should be taken with caution because, till date, neither the governments concerned nor the Air Forces of the two countries, They have confirmed the signing of Iraq’s treaties and agreements.
As for the sale of equipment and aircraft between the two countries, as of this date, the acquisition of 12 Pakistan-made PAC MFI-17 Mushshak by the Iraqi Air Force has been limited, of which it has received the first 4 units. Its MFI-395 version is for training missions and basic training of pilots.
If the move is confirmed, Iraq will become the fourth country to operate the JF-17 Thunder globally. Pakistan is the first in its capacity as an aircraft developer and manufacturer along with China; Added air forces of Burma and Nigeria.
*Photos used for illustration – Credits: Stratcom Bureau.
This may interest you. Chief Staff Report No. 137: JF-17 Thunder for the Argentine Air Force
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