Indonesia plans to buy 36 Rafale and eight F-15EX jets.
The Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU, Indonesian Air Force) chief Air Marshal Fajar Prasetyo said on Feb. 18, 2021 that his country will purchase F-15EX jets from Boeing and Rafale fighter aircraft from Dassault between 2021 and 2024.
According to AA.com.tr, Indonesia will also buy C-130J transport planes and medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicles, Prasetyo explained at the annual Air Force Leadership Meeting.
According to the meeting’s summary document, Indonesia plans to buy 36 Rafale and eight F-15EX jets, with six of the latter expected to arrive by 2022.
Along with the new additions, the air force will also modernize its existing combat aircraft this year, Prasetyo said.
Indonesia originally elected the Su-35 to replace TNI-AU aging F-5E Tiger II fleet: in August 2017 the country 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.
The Su-35 competed with several western fighters including Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-16V Viper, and Saab JAS 39 Gripen.
But in March 2020 it was reported that Washington warned Jakarta that buying the Russian fighters will risk the South East Asian country being penalized under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
For this reason the US offered the F-16 to Indonesia in return but Jakarta is more keen on buying the F-35 instead.
Then it was reported that in a September letter Austria’s Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner responded to her Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto initial letter dated Jul. 10 where he expressed interest in buying Austrian Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters.
For Indonesia buying used weapons from other countries, such as the Austrian Typhoons, is an option to meet Minimum Essential Force targets, while the second is to buy all its military hardware brand new for higher quality.
Photo credit: Boeing