Since this morning, the French Minister for the Armed Forces has been in Jakarta, Indonesia on a 2-day trip which is of strategic importance for France and its defense industry. For two years now, negotiations have been under way between Paris and Jakarta on the acquisition of Rafale fighters for the Indonesian air force, and Scorpene submarines for the country's navy, in a vast effort to modernize the armed forces having given rise, in recent months, to the order of 6 FREMM frigates from the Italian fincantieri and two Arrowhead 140 frigates under local construction with the British Babcock.
The order of Rafale fighters by Indonesia has, on several occasions, been announced as imminent in the French and Indonesian press, and has given rise to many false starts. But this faith, it seems that the displacement of Florence Parly is not done empty. Indeed, according to journalist Michel Cabirol, particularly well informed on defense industry issues, Jakarta has already ordered 6 aircraft from Dassault Aviation, using thehe budget initially planned to acquire the 11 Russian Su-35s targeted by American sanctions. If the information has not been confirmed either by Dassault or by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, it has not been denied either 24 hours after its publication, which suggests that it is indeed exact, but that the industrialist as the Minister would have greatly preferred to keep this signature confidential until further notice.
Indeed, there is no doubt that Indonesia is targeting a much larger fleet of aircraft than just 6 Rafales, even if the country is accustomed to micro-fleets, in particular due to growing tensions with Beijing in the China Sea. from South. In fact, Florence Parly's trip, moreover for two days, is probably intended to negotiate a much larger contract, we are talking about 30 to 36 aircraft, but also the conditions of financing and economic compensation attached to it, with the objective of announcing before its departure a new firm and significant order from a 7th international customer for the French aircraft. The subject is reputed to be particularly difficult because of Indonesian expectations in this area, the latter having thus forced the hand of Russia to accept part of the payment for the Su-35 contract (finally cancelled) in palm oil.
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