Jakarta frees up $3,9 billion for a new batch of Rafale and second-hand Mirage 2000s

Obviously, the Indonesian authorities seem convinced by the French combat planes! Indeed, after having signed, in February 2022, a letter of intent to order 42 Rafale aircraft from Dassault Aviation, then having paid, in September, the first installment for 6 of these devices, Jakarta has just obtained a line of credit of $3,9 billion from the Ministry of Finance to acquire a second batch of Rafale, between 12 and 18 aircraft, as well as the 12 Qatari Mirage 2000 EDA and DDA as an intermediate solution in the waiting for the arrival of more modern devices. This is, of course, excellent news for the French aeronautics and defense industry, which not only sees the order book for the Rafale grow once again, but which will also benefit from maintenance contracts for the Mirage 2000 fleet, which is also a very efficient aircraft to meet the specific needs of Indonesia, particularly in terms of air defense and interception.

But this decision, which may seem self-evident since Jakarta had already committed to order 42 aircraft from Dassault, actually marks a profound change in attitude on the part of the Indonesian authorities who, over the past 15 years, had above all shown a lack of determination and consistency in the execution of their negotiations in this area. We remember, of course, the episode of the 11 Su-35s which were to replace the Indonesian Su-27s and Su-30s, and which got lost in endless negotiations between Jakarta and Moscow as to the terms of payment, to ultimately be purely and simply canceled after US CAATSA legislation came into effect. But this was also the case concerning the Indonesian participation in the KF-21 Boramae program with South Korea, Jakarta having systematically forgotten to pay its partner, this having even led, for a time, to the return of the hundred Indonesian engineers who participated in the program in South Korea. Moreover, it seems that the problem is still not fully solved, since Indonesia would still owe Seoul $550 million about their participation in this program.

Negotiations between Jakarta and Washington around the sale of 36 F-15EX for $13,9 billion seem complicated, by Boeing's own admission

Even more recently, it was the turn of the Americans to confront the Indonesian methods of negotiation on this subject. While Jakarta formalized the order for 42 Rafale in February, a second order, this time for 36 American F-15EX, was also announced as "authorised", for an amount of $13 billion. However, since then, negotiations with Boeing seem to be stalling and following a trajectory that is reminiscent of that of the Russian Su-35s. Indeed, if in September, the Foreign Military Sales authorized the sale of 36 aircraft in Jakarta for $13,9 billion, the American manufacturer has, more recently, issued serious reservations about the capacity of the Indonesian authorities to finance such a program. It seems that, as was the case with Russia over the Su-35s, Jakarta offered Washington to pay part of the $13 billion in Indonesian exports, probably in palm oil and other raw materials, which, obviously, is not to the liking of the American authorities.

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