Klaudia Tanner, Austria’s Defense Minister, has officially responded to Indonesia’s request to buy 15 Eurofighters from her country.
Klaudia Tanner, Austria’s Defense Minister, has officially responded to Indonesia’s request to buy 15 Eurofighters from her country adding that she had directed the General Staff to prepare for negotiations with Jakarta.
According to Alert5.com, the declared goal for Austria is the “exit from the Eurofighter system” in the best interest of taxpayers.
The country has two options to sell its fleet of Eurofighters:
- Selling the jets directly to Indonesia after the Eurofighter consortium will have issued an end user certificate to Indonesia.
- Or selling the jets back to Airbus which will upgrade them and sell them to Indonesia instead.
Austria’s Die Presse first reported on Jul. 18, 2020 that Austrian defence minister Klaudia Tanner had received a letter from her Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto expressing interest in the aircraft.
As reported by Flight Global, copies purported to be of the letter emerged on social media. In the letter, Subianto wrote that to help modernise the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU, Indonesian Air Force) he would like to enter “official deliberations” to buy all 15 examples.
“I am fully informed concerning the Eurofighter topic and the impact it had until today in Austria, and I am entirely aware of the sensitivity of that matter,” he said. “Nonetheless, I am sure that my proposal offers a promising change for both sides.”
In 2003 Austria ordered 18 Eurofighter jets but reduced the order to 15 in 2007.
In July 2017 the country started to think to end its Eurofighter programme early and replacing it with a cheaper alternative fleet of aircraft bought or leased from another government.
Austria in fact estimated that the continued use of the planes for 30 years – the normal life span of such jets – would cost up to 5 billion euros ($6.24 billion), largely for maintenance.
In August 2017 Indonesia announced a barter deal under which Jakarta was planning to purchase 11 Sukhoi Su-35 jets in exchange for Russia buying goods such as rubber, crude palm oil, coffee, tea, furniture and spices.
Indonesia originally elected the Su-35 to replace TNI-AU aging F-5E Tiger II fleet. The Su-35 competed with several western fighters including Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-16V Viper, and Saab JAS 39 Gripen.
Photo credit: Bundesheer