Indonesia Plans to Modernize its Su-30, F-16 Aircraft Fleet

Jakarta has also inked an MoU with Boeing for F-15s
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  • 10:00 AM, January 4, 2024
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Indonesia Plans to Modernize its Su-30, F-16 Aircraft Fleet
Indonesian vipers

Indonesia has decided to forgo its plan to acquire 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar and instead focus on modernizing its existing fleet of Sukhoi Su-30 and F-16 aircraft.

These statements were made by Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, a government spokesperson, during a TV One interview.

The decision, attributed to limited fiscal capacity, was jointly made by the defense and finance ministries. Dahnil emphasized that the purchase of Mirage jets had been delayed due to financial constraints, prompting a strategic shift towards retrofitting the country's aging Sukhoi and F-16 fleet.

Previously, Indonesia had inked a €733 million ($801.68 million) deal with a unit of Czech defense company Czechoslovak Group (CSG) for the Mirage 2000-5 fighters in January 2023. However, the delay in delivery of the secondhand jets, which were intended to serve as interim solutions until the arrival of 42 Rafale fighter jets purchased in 2022, led to criticism from lawmakers who deemed the Mirage planes outdated.

President Joko Widodo's approval of a 20% increase in defense spending to $25 billion by the end of 2024 aimed at upgrading military hardware seems to face challenges with the recent decision to redirect funds towards retrofitting. The Indonesian air fleet, currently consisting of 33 F-16 Fighting Falcons and 11 Su-30MK2s acquired in the 1990s, will undergo retrofitting to extend their service life and enhance capabilities with modern missiles, communication, and targeting systems.

The financial constraints are now casting doubt on Indonesia's ability to proceed with the purchase of F-15 jets, as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Boeing.

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