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Indonesia in negotiations to buy Rafale fighter jets.

Image Credit: Dassault Aviation.

After several months of searching for a new fighter jet, Indonesia is in negotiations with France negotiations over the purchase of Dassault Rafale fighter jets. This comes after Indonesia also expressed its interest in Austria’s Eurofighter typhoon. It is expected that Indonesia will buy 15 Eurofighter typhoons, but this requires political consensus from Austria and confirmation by the four Eurofighter partner countries- Germany, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom.

Indonesia has also made plans to purchase Russian made Sukhoi Su-35, but negotiations for these jets with Russia seem to have stopped. United States urged Indonesia to abandon the purchase of these fighter jets.

The French Defense Ministry announced Indonesia’s potential purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. The contract is still pending, but it is in an advanced stage. Indonesia wants to complete the agreement as fast as possible to acquire the fighter jets, while France are being more cautious as they do not have a long history of arms sale to Indonesia. In 2019, France sold eight Airbus Helicopters H225M to Indonesia.

Indonesia wants to modernize its airforce and make it more effective. Indonesia’s airforce fleet is made up of 12 F-16A/B Block 15OCU and 23 upgraded F-16C/Ds. They also have 5 Sukhoi Su-27SKs, 2 Su-30MKs and 9 Su-30MK2s. Indonesia requires mostly jet fighters with air-to-ground capability to deal with several terrorist groups, and also advanced fighter jets to deal with a maritime dispute with China. The dispute prompted Indonesia to consider the purchase of Gowind class submarines and Scorpene class submarines, but the priority right now are the French-made Rafale fighter jets.

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