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Indonesia Signs Up for Dassault Rafale Fighters

 - February 10, 2022, 5:40 AM
Indonesia follows France, India, Egypt, Qatar, Croatia, Greece, and the UAE in ordering the Rafale. (Photo: Dassault Aviation)

Indonesia will buy 42 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters as part of a series of deals that include submarine development and armament production, France’s defense minister, Florence Parly, announced in Jakarta. A signing ceremony between Eric Trappier, Dassault chairman and CEO, and Air Vice Marshal Yusuf Jauhari from the Indonesian defense ministry, was held on February 9, witnessed by Parly and her Indonesian counterpart, Prabowo Subianto. The contract includes a full range of training and logistical support, including two full-mission simulators.

Minister Prabowo confirmed that the Southeast Asian country has placed an initial order for six aircraft, and has committed to buy 36 more. The country first signed a letter of intent to acquire Rafales in June 2021, following which detailed negotiations began. Earlier this year Indonesia stated that a contract was ready to sign, following the establishment of a range of industrial offsets. Among these is the involvement of the country’s main aerospace company, PTDI, in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul for the Rafales.

“It is a great honor for Dassault Aviation to see the Rafale join the highly prestigious Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara [TNI-AU, Indonesian air force], and I would like to thank the Indonesian authorities for the trust they have placed in us,” said Trappier. “This contract marks the start of a long-term partnership that will see Dassault Aviation rapidly step up its presence in the country.”

Following recent orders from Croatia, Greece and the UAE, Indonesia becomes the eighth nation to sign up for the 4.5-generation fighter. The contract should also bring to an end the long-running effort to equip the TNI-AU with a modern fighter. A deal with Russia concerning the acquisition of Sukhoi Su-35s had been agreed but was not finalized due to contractual issues. The deal was also heavily opposed by the U.S. with the threat of CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries by Sanctions Act) actions.

For France, the Indonesian deals are important as the nation seeks to strengthen and expand its geopolitical influence in the Asia-Pacific region following the establishment of the Australia-UK-U.S (AUKUS) strategic alliance. An early casualty of AUKUS was the cancellation by Australia of a submarine deal with France.