Indonesia Confirms Interest in F-15EX and Other New Assets

 - February 19, 2021, 1:04 PM
The Indonesian air force is looking at the F-15EX as a possible answer to its fighter requirements. This is the first F-15EX for the U.S. Air Force, seen on its February 2 maiden flight. (Photo: Boeing)

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has confirmed its interest in acquiring as many as 36 Boeing F-15EX fighters as part of its modernization plan between 2021 and 2024. TNI-AU chief Air Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo told the media in a press conference that the procurement plan is currently being handled by the defense ministry, which is also looking at 36 Dassault Rafales along with other assets for the country's army, navy, and air force services. Local media has also reported that the TNI-AU has allocated funds to refurbish all of its fighter platforms, with the exception of its BAE Systems Hawks. 

In a presentation chaired by Fadjar, the TNI-AU also confirmed it is seeking 15 Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules, two unspecified “multi-role tanker transports”, 30 radars for air defense, and unmanned aerial vehicles to equip three units. It is also looking at airborne early warning aircraft, and in the presentation slides the AEW platform is represented by the Saab GlobalEye. 

“Starting from 2021 to 2021, the TNI-AU will realize the acquisition of various modern defense platforms in stages,” Fadjar said. “The most important essence is not the increase in [the] number of platforms but the increase in capabilities.” 

The absence of the Sukhoi Su-35 from the list suggests that the program has been completely abandoned by Jakarta in the face of the U.S.’s Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) that, if the Sukhoi buy had proceeded, may have imposed sanctions and restrictions on the sustainability of recently acquired U.S.-platforms such as the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian, and the upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs under the Falcon STAR (Structural Augmentation Roadmap).

Also on the Indonesian Army’s wish list are 32 Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk transport helicopters and four Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors.