Indonesia Turns Away from Russia, Confirms Purchase of Qatari’s Jet Fighters

Jul 2023

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has revealed that it signed a EUR 733 million (USD 793.14 million) contract to acquire the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF’s) fleet of 12 Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters, consisting of nine single-seat Mirage 2000-5EDA and three twin-seat Mirage 2000-5DDA aircraft. The transaction will be financed by international loans and mediated by the Czech firm Excalibur International. The aircraft will be delivered within two years of the deal’s effect. The deal also includes 14 spare engines, unidentified weaponry, ground support equipment, crew training, and other ancillary support, including up to three years of support services, according to the TNI-AU.

The QEAF Mirage 2000 aircraft will be flown by 1 Squadron located at Supadio Air Base in Pontianak on the west coast of the island of Kalimantan. The aircraft has been bought as a stopgap solution to enhance the country’s air defense capabilities following the retirement of the TNI-AU’s Northrop Grumman F-5E/F Tiger II light fighters and the deterioration of its BAE Hawk 209 light combat aircraft.

Indonesia had previously planned to acquire the Russian Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker combat aircraft. It entered into a provisional agreement with Rosoboronexport in February 2018. Still, concerns about potential US sanctions terminated the deal, prompting Jakarta to turn to France and acquire six of the 42 newbuild Dassault Rafale fighters. The first three Rafale planes are scheduled to be delivered in 2026.

The country is also negotiating the acquisition of Boeing F-15EX Eagle fighters, with the TNI-AU confirming in a statement that it is discussing the letter of offer and acceptance with the US government. Aside from the QEAF Mirages, Indonesia entered into talks with Austria in July 2020 to acquire all 15 Tranche 1 Typhoon combat aircraft deployed by the Austrian Air Force.

(Source: Asian Military Review)

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