Indonesia became the newest customer for the Dassault Rafale fighter jet on Thursday. The Asian country has signed an agreement with the French manufacturer to receive 42 state-of-the-art fighter jets.
The contract “includes a complete turnkey solution, with a comprehensive package that covers aircrew training, logistical support for several Indonesian air bases, and a training center with two full-mission simulators,” Dassault said.
Hours after the announcement, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) communicated the decision to clear a possible acquisition of Boeing F-15ID (EX) fighter jets by Indonesia.
The authorization includes a batch of 36 aircraft, 87 engines (PW F110 or GE F100), 45 Raytheon AN/APG-82 radars, among other equipment.
The two announcements contradict local media reports that were betting on a dispute between the Rafale and the F-15. The most likely scenario is that Indonesia will order both jets in order to have a more versatile force – the Boeing fighter is bigger and faster than the French aircraft.
The Indonesian Air Force currently relies on F-16 fighter jets, but recently approached Russia by ordering the Sukhoi Su-27/30.
In 2018, the Southeast Asian country even announced an agreement with the Russians to receive 11 Su-35 fighter jets, but the deal was not finalized after threats of US sanctions.