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Leonardo confirms M-346 contract for Nigeria

Nigeria is to receive 24 M-346 aircraft that will be used in both the trainer and combat roles. While Leonardo offers both the M-346FA and M-346FT (pictured) combat versions of the aircraft, all official announcements on the Nigerian deal by the NAF and/or Leonardo to date have referred only to the baseline M-346 advanced jet trainer that comes with a secondary combat capability. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Leonardo has for the first time disclosed that it has been contracted to deliver its M-346 to Nigeria, telling Janes on 19 April that it recently confirmed its commitment to a timely delivery of the “fighter aircraft” to the West African country.

The Italian company's confirmation came in response to a post on the Nigerian Air Force's (NAF's) official Facebook account, in which it said it is to receive 24 M-346 fighter aircraft, with the first six expected to arrive before the end of 2024 and the remainder to follow in further tranches of six.

“This [Facebook post] makes reference to a meeting between the Nigerian Air Force HQ and Leonardo, where the company has confirmed its commitment to timely deliver the M-346 fighter aircraft and guarantee an early start of pilot and engineering training in 2024,” Leonardo told Janes, adding, “We cannot elaborate further at this stage.”

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