The Nigerian Air Force has entered into an agreement with an Italian defense company for the procurement of 24 M-346 Master aircraft, with the deal valued at approximately €1.2 billion. As of a November 7, 2023, report by Military Africa, the delivery of the aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force is anticipated in 2024.
The report highlights that various notable defense companies were approached to supply the required munitions, including missiles, precision-guided bombs, and rockets for these aircraft.
Furthermore, the Master aircraft is expected to replace the aging Dassault Alpha jet A/E, contributing to the enhancement of Nigeria’s aerial capabilities and the reinforcement of its defense strategies.
The report partly read, “The Nigerian Air Force’s forthcoming acquisition of 24 M-346 Master aircraft from Italy’s Leonardo is generating considerable interest in the defence industry. With discussions already underway regarding the selection of armament for these advanced aircraft, several prominent defence companies have been approached to provide the necessary munitions, missiles, precision-guided bombs, and rockets.
“The deal, estimated to be worth around €1.2bn, marks a significant step in Nigeria’s ongoing efforts to modernise its air force. The M-346 Master aircraft will replace the ageing Dassault Alpha jet A/E, enhancing the country’s aerial capabilities and bolstering its defence strategies. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to the Nigerian Air Force in 2024.
“The selection of armament for these aircraft is crucial to their operational effectiveness, and Nigerian defence authorities have engaged with several renowned companies to fulfill these requirements.”
However, the report emphasized that the Nigerian Air Force would become the most formidable in the region following the acquisition of the Master aircraft.
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