Le Rafale prioritizes KF-21 Boramae and F-15EX in Indonesia

Just two years ago, Jakarta announced that it was turning towards Rafale of Dassault Aviation, to begin the modernization of its air forces. If the targeted order was for 42 aircraft, this was broken down into 3 tranches, respectively of 6, 18 and 18 aircraft, which were to enter into force successively.

This division was, then, cause for concern. Indeed, in recent years, Indonesia has not shown itself, in several major defense files, to be a particularly reliable partner, with significant delays in the award of contracts, and above all payment defaults which have sometimes more than annoyed Jakarta's partners.

A strategic client for the Rafale and Dassault Aviation

However, after ordering the first 6 devices, which came into force only a few weeks after the initial announcement, the second tranche of 18 devices was, for its part, barely eight months later.

Earlier this week, Dassault just announced that the third and final tranche had also just entered into force, showing that for Jakarta, the acquisition of the 42 French fighters was considered a major priority, far ahead of its participation in the South Korean KFX program.

Rafale
The Indonesian National Military Air Force, or Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara, will line up 42 hunters Rafale in the years to come.

This is, of course, excellent news for Dassault Aviation and all the companies concerned. Indeed, with the exception of Croatia, all customers of the Rafale, until then, were traditional operators of French fighter planes, and more particularly the Mirage 2000. This is not the case for Indonesia which, until now, had turned towards the United States and the Soviet Union in this area, in connection with the country's non-alignment policy.

Above all, with sustained economic growth (5,3% in 2023), it is expected to become a major player in the global economic and political sphere in the years and decades to come. At the same time, it borders the South China Sea to the south, and as such, finds itself in tension with Chinese claims to this maritime space, creating recurring frictions with the naval and air forces of the People's Army. of Liberation.

In fact, adding Indonesia to the list of operators of Rafale, represented a strategic challenge for Paris and Dassault, the long-term potential of the Indonesian fighter fleet certainly exceeding the 42 aircraft initially ordered.

Concerns related to the execution of the South Korean KFX program and the KF-21 Boramae by Indonesia

However, the risks seemed high when the contract was signed. Indeed, a 2010% partner since 20 of the South Korean KFX program which has since given birth to the KF-21 Boramae, Jakarta has stood out above all for its non-compliance with its commitments to Seoul, particularly with regard to concerns the budgetary dimension.

KF-21 Boramae
Indonesia is a 20% partner in the South Korean KFX program.

Already, in 2017, the Indonesian engineering center in South Korea had to be closed, while payment arrears to Seoul regarding this program already exceeded $400 million.


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