The potential sale of F-15ID aircraft and related equipment to Indonesia, estimated to be valued at USD 13.9 billion, has been approved by the US State Department. In addition, Indonesia aims to order 42 Rafale fighter jets from France in a deal valued at USD 8.1 billion as the country plans to replace its aging air fleet, which includes US-made F-16 and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 jets.
The deal with France occurs as Paris aims to expand geopolitical ties in the Indo-Pacific after the United States, Britain and Australia created a new strategic alliance a year earlier called AUKUS. Indonesia would become the second country in the Indo-Pacific region after India to acquire the jet produced by Dassault Aviation. A deal for the first phase for six Rafale jets will be executed in March 2022, and the remaining 36 jets will be delivered either by the end of 2022 or in the next year.
In addition to the Rafale deal, Indonesia and France agreed to work together in submarine research, telecommunication, and large-caliber munitions. State-owned shipbuilder PAL Indonesia signed a submarine research and development MoU with the Naval Group. Meanwhile, state-owned communication equipment company Len Industri signed a deal with France multinational Thales Group. For the large-caliber munitions manufacturing, state-owned weapon maker Pindad will work with its French government-owned counterpart, Nexter Munition.
Boeing is the main contractor for the F-15 jets in the deal with the US. The order includes 36 jets, spare engines, radars, night vision goggles, training and technical support.
(Sources: Jakarta Globe; Reuters)