The Indonesian track resurfaces for the Rafale by Dassault

Several times announced as close, it seems that a first order for combat aircraft Rafale is on track before the end of the year in Indonesia. In any case, this is what emerges from the investigations carried out by specialist Defense journalist Michel Cabirol of the economic site La Tribune, and which could even take place before the end of the year 2021. It would not be, this time, a major order for a quarantine device as mentioned previously, Jakarta simply does not have the resources to fund such a program. On the other hand, the 2021 budget would still have resources of the order of $ 600 million in the coffers of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, which seems inclined to trigger a first order for 6 French planes, or even for 12 by anticipating an equivalent budget. for the year 2022.

At first glance, this potential order may appear small, and even negligible compared to the 24 Rafale Greeks, 30 Egyptian aircraft and especially 80 French fighter planes ordered by the United Arab Emirates, in addition to the 12 Rafale used acquired by Croatia this year. However, it is far from being viewed with disdain by Dassault Aviation and the entire team. Rafale, and this for many reasons. Firstly, it is very unlikely that Jakarta will be satisfied, in the long term, with such a small fleet, and an order for only 6 or 12 aircraft would therefore represent a significant bet on the future for French industry, as tensions in this part of the world will obviously increase, and the Indonesian air forces will quickly need to increase in capacity and volume in the years to come, particularly against Beijing.

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Like Qatar, 5 of the 6 export clients of Rafale currently uses the Mirage 2000

Secondly, Indonesia would constitute a new leading reference for the French military aeronautics industry, while, unlike other export clients of the Rafale With the exception of Croatia, all were already customers of this industry, and had previously purchased Mirage 2000s. In these conditions, putting a foot, even if of pre-bubal size, in the Indonesian air fleet, constitutes a long-term strategic objective for French industry, and Dassault Aviation in particular, especially since within ten years, according to projections, Jakarta's GDP will be among the 10 largest on the planet, and it should greatly exceed that of of France by 2050. In other words, as they did with the air forces of Qatar and the UAE in the 80s, Dassault is betting on the loyalty of its aeronautical customers as well as on their growth potential in the years future. And it is clear that, in this area, the French aircraft manufacturer has particularly well placed its pawns, with India which will be the third economic power in the world from 2030, or Egypt whose GDP will follow that of the France in 2050.

Sales of Rafale to Indonesia would therefore perfectly complete this picture, and at the same time prepare the export market for the future FCAS, or any other device which will take over from the flagship of national aeronautics by 2040. The fact remains that, if decisions can be made in the very short term by Jakarta as shown the surprise order of 6 FREMM frigates from Italy this year, the country is also used to side steps and false starts. It is therefore necessary to show patience and discernment in this matter, especially since twice already, the signing of a contract on this subject had been presented as imminent by these same sources, and that others before France, including Russia and South Korea, also underwent this Scottish shower flavored with Indonesian (palm) oils.

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