Indonesia gives up on Su-35 purchase, instead buying French Rafale fighters

by Zaur Babashov | Thursday, Feb 10, 2022 | 177 views

The government of Indonesia agreed to purchase six Rafale combat aircraft, France’s Dassault Aviation company said on Friday.

A French air force Rafale aircraft taxis on the runway at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 7, 2021. The French air force arrived in Greece to participate in INIOCHOS 21. In addition to enhancing combat readiness and strengthening bonds, INIOCHOS provides participants the opportunity for developing capabilities in planning and conducting complex air operations in a multinational joint forces environment, leading to an advanced level of training for all participants. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

According to a company statement, in the presence of the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and the Indonesian Minister of Defence, Prabowo Subianto, the Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, and the Air Vice Marshal Yusuf Jauhari, Head of Defence Facilities Agency of the Indonesian Ministry of Defence, signed the contract for the acquisition by Indonesia of 42 latest-generation Rafale aircraft, at a ceremony held today in Jakarta.

The Rafale acquisition for the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara (Indonesian National Army Air Force) includes a complete turnkey solution, with a comprehensive package that covers aircrew training, logistical support for several Indonesian air bases, and a training center with two full-mission simulators.

The Rafale’s unique “omnirole” capability will provide Indonesia with a tool for sovereignty and operational independence, reinforcing its role as a major regional power.

Indonesian industry will benefit from a substantial industrial return, not only in the aeronautical sector, but also in all the other major areas of cooperation relating to the broad portfolio of dual technologies mastered by Dassault Aviation and its industrial partners, Safran Aircraft Engines and Thales.

“It is a great honor for Dassault Aviation to see the Rafale join the highly prestigious Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara air force, and I would like to thank the Indonesian authorities for the trust they have placed in us. This contract marks the start of a long-term partnership that will see Dassault Aviation rapidly step up its presence in the country. It also demonstrates the strong bond between Indonesia and France and reinforces the position of the world’s largest archipelago as a key power on the international stage. I am confident that the Rafale will meet the operational needs of the Indonesian Air Force, actively contributing to the defense and sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia”, said Eric Trappier on this occasion.

It’s also important to note that Indonesia previously abandoned its plan to acquire Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E fighters. Officially Jakarta had selected the Russian combat aircraft in 2015 but never signed a contract for 11 fighters following negotiations with Russia in 2018.

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