Several times announced as close, it seems that a first order of Rafale fighter jets is on track before the end of the year in Indonesia. In any case, this is what goes back to the investigations carried out by the specialist journalist Defense Michel Cabirol of the economic site La Tribune, and which could even take place before the end of the year 2021. It would not be, this time, a major order for a quarantine device as mentioned previously, Jakarta simply does not have the resources to fund such a program. On the other hand, the 2021 budget would still have resources of the order of $ 600 million in the coffers of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, which seems inclined to trigger a first order for 6 French planes, or even for 12 by anticipating an equivalent budget. for the year 2022.
At first glance, this potential order may appear low, and even negligible compared to the 24 Greek Rafales, the 30 Egyptian aircraft and especially the 80 French fighter planes ordered by the United Arab Emirates, in addition to the 12 second-hand Rafale acquired by Croatia this year. However, it is far from being regarded with disdain by Dassault Aviation and the entire Rafale team, for several reasons. In the first place, it is very unlikely that Jakarta will be satisfied, in the long term, with such a small fleet, and an order of only 6 or 12 devices would therefore represent a major bet on the future for French industry, of as the tensions in this part of the world will obviously increase, and the Indonesian air force will need to rapidly increase in capacity as in volume in the years to come, in particular vis-à-vis Beijing.
Secondly, Indonesia would constitute a new leading benchmark for the French military aeronautics industry, whereas, unlike other Rafale export customers except Croatia, all were already customers in this industry, and had previously purchased Mirage 2000s. Under these conditions, getting a foothold, albeit pre-Cuban in size, in the Indonesian air fleet, constitutes a long-term strategic objective for the French industry, and Dassault aviation in particular, especially since here. ten years, according to projections, the GDP of Jakarta will be among the 10 most important of the planet, and that it should largely exceed that of France by 2050. In other words, as they did with the air forces of Qatar and the UAE in the 80s, Dassault is betting on the loyalty of its aeronautical customers as well as on their growth potential in the years to come. And it is clear that, in this area, the French aircraft manufacturer has placed its pawns particularly well, with India which will be the third world economic power from 2030, or Egypt whose GDP will follow that of the France in 2050.
The sale of Rafale to Indonesia would therefore complement this picture perfectly, and at the same time prepare the export market for the future SCAF, or any other aircraft that will take over from the flagship of national aeronautics by 2040. The fact remains that, if decisions can be taken in the very short term by Jakarta, as has been shown the surprise order of 6 FREMM frigates from Italy this year, the country is also used to side steps and false starts. It is therefore necessary to show patience and discernment in this matter, especially since twice already, the signing of a contract on this subject had been presented as imminent by these same sources, and that others before France, including Russia and South Korea, also underwent this Scottish shower flavored with Indonesian (palm) oils.