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Air Warfare

Leonardo denies Nigerian M-346FA order

10th May 2021 - 13:57 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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M-346FA light attack aircraft. (Photo: Leonardo)

The Nigerian Air Force has not ordered 24 light attack aircraft, says Leonardo.

Leonardo has denied media reports from Nigeria that the African country has ordered the M-346FA light attack aircraft.

The Sundiata Post online news portal reported on 7 May that Nigeria intends to replace its 13-strong fleet of Alpha Jet ground-attack aircraft with the M-346FAs in an estimated $1.2 billion deal.

However, Leonardo subsequently informed Shephard that no such order has been placed by Nigeria, although a company official added that the country is 'looking with interest to the M-346' and the platform has been chosen by Greece as part of a trainer aircraft deal with Israel.

On 13 July 2020, Leonardo announced that M-346FA successfully completed its maiden flight with deliveries to the first export customer to begin this year. 

Shephard Defence Insight notes that Azerbaijan is buying an undisclosed number of M-346FAs and M-346 trainer aircraft. These aircraft are likely to replace MiG-29s, Su-25s and L-39s.

This article was amended on 12 May to reflect Leonardo's denial of a firm order from Nigeria.

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