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Iraq to buy Pakistan’s JF-17 fighter aircraft 

July 12, 2023 at 2:53 pm

JF-17 fighter aircraft [@OSPSF/Twitter]

Iraq is reportedly planning to buy JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan, becoming the fifth country to do so, according to a report on Sunday by Pakistan’s The News International, citing unnamed sources.

If the deal goes ahead, Iraq will join Malaysia, Nigeria, Azerbaijan and Myanmar in receiving the fighter jets, which have been manufactured jointly with China. The latest agreement is still pending approval from the Iraqi parliament.

Iraq is believed to have signed a contract with a Pakistani company to purchase an unspecified number of aircraft, thought 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 deal, reportedly worth $664 million and involving 12 JF-17 Block III jets is a result of several rounds of negotiations dating back to 2021. It will be the largest defence deal between the two countries in decades.

It has been reported elsewhere that the agreement was reached during Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s visit to Baghdad last month.

The development comes less than two months after Iraqi state media reported that Baghdad was still interested in purchasing 14 Dassault Rafales from France. At the time, Iraq’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Major General Yehia Rasool, was quoted as saying that, “France is considered one of the developed countries in the field of military industries, including the air force.” He added that “Iraq is cooperating with France in many fields, including air defence.”

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