The Defense Ministry of Indonesia has confirmed signing a contract to procure an additional 18 Rafale fighter jets from France, marking the completion of the 2022’s order for 42 of these aircraft to enhance the country’s air force capabilities. The ministry has confirmed that the delivery for the remaining 18 Rafale jets is anticipated in early 2026. While the specific value of the agreement remains undisclosed by Indonesia, Reuters had previously reported that the deal was valued at USD 8.1 billion.
The move follows the cancellation of plans to purchase Sukhoi SU-35 aircraft from Russia due to concerns about potential US sanctions related to Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine. The Indonesian Air Force utilizes fighter jets sourced from multiple nations, including the United States, Russia, and Britain. However, in June 2023, the ministry acknowledged that several of these aircraft had either reached or were approaching the end of their operational lifespan, necessitating replacement or modernization measures.
Indonesia has initiated a comprehensive effort to enhance and modernize its military capabilities, focusing on priorities such as bolstering the domestic defense industry, improving communication systems, enhancing intelligence capabilities, fortifying border security, and upgrading guided munitions and air defense systems. In a significant development in 2022, the US State Department approved the potential sale of the F-15 fighter jets and related equipment and parts to Indonesia.
In November 2023, the Indonesian government raised its defense budget for 2024 by 20%, elevating it from USD 20.7 billion to USD 25 billion, with a significant portion allocated for acquiring major weapon systems from abroad.
(Source: The Jakarta Post)