The Boeing F-15EX Eagle II is getting closer to Indonesia, and its first export order

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto signed an MoU on August 21 for 24 F-15EX Eagle IIs for the Indonesian Air Force, during his visit to the Boeing site in Saint-Louis producing the aircraft for the United States Air Force.

In early 2021, Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshal Fajar Prasetyo detailed upcoming acquisition plans to modernize the country's air force. In order to replace the Su-30 and Su-27 still in service, and the oldest F-16, this one planned to acquire 36 planes Rafale French, as well as eight American Boeing F-15EX Eagle II heavy fighters.

The then-presented goal of an order for these two aircraft by the end of the year seemed excessively ambitious at the time. And, in fact, it was necessary to wait until the following year for the first order of 6 Rafale be notified, while a commitment on 42 aircraft was signed by Jakarta.

The same year, in February 2022, the Indonesian Air Force and its Defense Minister, Prabowo Subianto, obtained the agreement of Parliament to negotiate an order for 36 F-15EX fighters.

Signing of a MoU for 24 Indonesian F-15EX Eagle IIs

After a year and a half of negotiations, the first stage of this order, reduced to 24 aircraft, was completed on August 21, with thethe signature, by Prabowo Subianto, of an MoU with the Boeing company, about her. The Indonesian Minister of Defense went for the occasion to the Boeing industrial site in Saint-Louis, which produces the F-15EX Eagle II for the US Air Force, but also the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet for the US Navy.

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Signature of the MoU between Indonesia and Boeing, in Saint-Louis, Missouri, by Mark Spears (Deputy Director of Fighter Programs at Boeing) and Marshall Yusuf Jauhari, under the eyes of the Indonesian Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto.

For the time being, no information beyond this signature has been disclosed, whether concerning the scope of the future contract, its cost or its timetable. However, we can assume that the $13 billion initially granted by the Indonesian Parliament was insufficient for a fleet of 36 aircraft, or three squadrons.

It is, moreover, only a first step in a complex process, which still has to obtain the authorization of the FMS and the American Senate, and especially to cross the meanders of the procedure of release of Indonesian credits. In other words, it is likely that the Indonesian F-15EX, if the contract were to be confirmed, would not enter service until the end of the decade, at best.

There is however urgency for the air forces of Jakarta. Without being aligned with the American positions, as Japan or South Korea may be, Indonesia is however facing growing tensions with China around the de facto annexation of the South China Sea decreed by Beijing.

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