Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra has formally handed over three JF-17 Thunder aircraft to Nigerian Air Force at a ceremony held at Nigerian Air Force Base Makudri. Minister of Defence of Nigeria Maj Gen (Rtd) Bashir Magashi was the guest of honour representing the president, at the occasion, whereas Vice Chief of the Air Staff Pakistan Air Force Air Marshal Syed Noman Ali was invited to attend the ceremony as special guest of Nigerian Air Force. Addressing the ceremony, the Nigerian defence minister expressed his gratitude to Pakistan and Pakistan Air Force for sustained bilateral cooperation and partnership for enhancing Nigerian Air Force capabilities to meet Nigeria’s security challenges. He said, “We are happy and excited about the addition of JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan.” Speaking on the occasion, Air Marshal Syed Noman Ali said today’s event is not only a historical landmark for Pakistan’s JF-17 program but is also a reflection of strong military cooperation and mutual trust between Nigeria and Pakistan. He assured that Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex would continue to provide all out support to Nigerian Air Force in meeting all its requirements. Military experts have long been comparing JF-17 Thunder with Rafale aircraft but Air Vice Marshal (retd) Shahzad Chaudhry, while sharing his views in a talk show earlier this year, said Rafale could be compared with F-16 but it had no one-to-one comparison with even JF-17. He said that Rafale didn’t bring any new technology to the region but similar tech already existed in F-16 and SU-30. Chaudhry said that the JF-17’s role was completely different from Rafale’s and the latter’s comparison will be made with F-16 as it had a similar role that of Rafale. “For the airspace that we have to defend, F-16s, JF-17s and other platforms emerge in an integrated shape as a formidable force and it was demonstrated in February 2019,” he said.