Indonesia cleared to acquire 36 US Boeing F-15EXs

In terms of exporting military equipment, the United States favors the use of Foreign Military Sales, or FMS, a body allowing customers of the US arms industry to benefit from the prices and contractual frameworks of the American armies. , rather than having to negotiate all of these aspects for each contract. As in most countries, arms exports are also conditioned by government authorization from the State Department and Congress, most often also passing through the FMS. It is in this context that Indonesia has just seen itself authorized to acquire up to 36 Boeing F-15EX heavy fighters as well as an exhaustive set of parts, ammunition and equipment, all for an envelope of $13 billion. It should be noted that the FMS almost systematically takes high assumptions concerning export authorizations, so as not to have to re-initiate a new procedure for having omitted to integrate certain equipment or services, this explaining the very significant amount of the budget envelope, which should not be taken literally.

This announcement comes just one day after the signing of a landmark contract under which Jakarta will equip itself with 42 Rafale F4 combat aircraft, 6 aircraft having already been ordered. However, this is not, a priori, an American attempt to derail the Franco-Indonesian program. Indeed, it has been more than a year since Jakarta announced its intention to modernize its air force by simultaneously equipping French Rafale and American F-15EXs, this after the United States refused the sale of F-35 in the country. In this context, the F-15EX is in no way considered as a competitor to the Rafale by Jakarta, but as a complementary weapon system for the French aircraft.

Indonesia has signed a contract to order 42 French Rafale F4 combat aircraft, in two batches, one of 6 aircraft already ordered, the other of 36 aircraft which will be ordered in the relatively near future.

On the other hand, the Rafale order probably puts into oblivion, for a time at least, Lockheed-Martin's attempt to offer its F-16V as an alternative. It is likely, in this case, that Jakarta gave as much priority to the undeniable performance of the French Rafale, as to its desire to implement a non-aligned strategy, even if the American threat of CAATSA sanctions finally led the Indonesian authorities to abandon the order for 11 Su-35 heavy fighters to replace its own obsolete Su-27s.

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