Indonesia gives approval for third batch of Dassault Rafale fighter jets

The country’s Air Force will receive 18 combat aircraft, part of a contract that includes 42 supersonic jets

Dassault confirmed on January 8 that Indonesia has given its go-ahead to receive the third tranche of Rafale fighters from its order for 42 aircraft, agreed in February 2022.

The Asian country’s Air Force divided deliveries into three batches, the first in September 2022 with eight fighters, the second in August 2023, including 18 aircraft and now the third, also with 18 supersonic jets.

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“In choosing the Rafale, Indonesia has opted for a unique tool for sovereignty and operational independence that will help consolidate its role as a major regional power. This choice also consolidates ambitious industrial and academic cooperations. We are fully committed to making this partnership a success, with a resolutely long-term vision,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

The announcement comes amid the Indonesian government’s backlash over the purchase of 12 second-hand Mirage 2000-5 fighters that flew in Qatar.

Former Qatar Air Force Dassault Mirage 2000-5 (USN)

The agreement was signed in January 2023 with a Czech company worth US$800 million, but Indonesia ended up postponing the acquisition due to a lack of financial resources.

Despite this, the Air Force has ordered 24 Boeing F-15EX fighters in addition to being a minor partner in the KF-21 Boramae fighter development program, developed by Korean Aerospace Industries, from South Korea.

The nation is in the midst of general elections scheduled for February after current President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced he will not run for a third term.