Iraq May Buy JF-17 Jets from Pakistan for $600M

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Iraq is planning to acquire a dozen JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan and has reportedly set aside $600 million for the procurement, as per local media reports.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that a delegation from Iraq’s Ministry of Defense recently visited Pakistan, while a formal agreement is expected to be signed in the country’s federal capital in October. The deal was reportedly made during the visit of Deputy Commander of Iraqi Air Force Major General (Pilot) Muhammad Majeed Mahdi Mahmood’s to Pakistan.

Iran has been showing interest in the JF-17 aside of Argentina and Malaysia. The fourth-generation jet is developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China.

Local media claimed last week that Argentina picked this jet over South Korean TA-50, Swedish Gripen and Russian Su-35s. This was denied by the MoD which said in a statement soon after that

“The Argentine Air Force had not selected a preferred fighter yet.”

In April, The EurAsian Times published a report which stated that Pak-Chinese jets are among the top choice along with Korean FA-50 for the Malaysian authorities. Malaysia was reportedly looking for 18 combat aircraft to replace its older fleet with modern fighters.