HomeAatmanirbhar BharatIndia Lures Nigeria with Irresistible LCA Tejas Offer Package

India Lures Nigeria with Irresistible LCA Tejas Offer Package

Source : IgMp News Bulletin

India Lures Nigeria with Irresistible LCA Tejas Offer Package
India Lures Nigeria with Irresistible LCA Tejas Offer Package 9

The Nigerian Air Force is in the market to upgrade its aging Chengdu F-7NI fighter jets, prompting interest from both China and India, each competing for a valuable 15-jet contract.

The contenders are India’s LCA Tejas and Pakistan’s JF-17 “Thunder,” both single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft. Nigeria already operates three JF-17s acquired in 2021, making an expansion of this platform a seemingly straightforward choice.

However, India has sweetened the deal significantly. According to sources from idrw.org, India’s offer includes a more attractive financial package, featuring a Line of Credit with much lower interest rates than China’s typical 6-8% for such deals.

While both aircraft are similarly priced at over $40 million per unit, the Tejas Mk1A has a distinct advantage. Its American-made F404 engine offers higher availability rates compared to the JF-17’s Russian RD-93 engines. Western sanctions on Russia have disrupted the supply of spare parts for the RD-93, which could affect the JF-17’s operational readiness.

India’s proposal goes beyond just selling aircraft. It includes training Nigerian pilots at the Indian Air Force Training School, fostering a deeper defense relationship. Additionally, India has offered to send HAL personnel to Nigeria for three years to support ground crews with the operation and maintenance of the Tejas fleet.

Nigeria is thus faced with a tough decision. The JF-17 offers familiarity, but India’s aggressive financing, superior engine technology, and comprehensive after-sales support package make the Tejas a compelling option. Ultimately, Nigeria must decide between the immediate convenience of expanding its existing JF-17 fleet and the long-term benefits of adopting the more reliable Tejas jets supported by extensive Indian backing.

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