BREAKING: Indonesia to buy 42 Rafales

Indonesia is to buy 42 “latest-generation” Dassault Rafales which was announced at a ceremony today (February 10) in Jakarta, as previously reported by Key.Aero.

Key.Aero sources can reveal that the deal is for an initial six aircraft, which will be delivered within next three years, while a contract for the next 36 will come in the near future. The first contract was signed by Air Vice Marshal Yusuf Jauhari, Head of Defence Facilities Agency of the Indonesian Ministry of Defence and Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier in the presence of the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and the Indonesian Minister of Defence, Prabowo Subianto.

A Dassault press release states: “The Rafale acquisition for the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara (Indonesian National Army Air Force) includes a complete turnkey solution, with a comprehensive package that covers aircrew training, logistical support for several Indonesian air bases, and a training centre with two full-mission simulators.” It is a wide-ranging deal as: “Indonesian industry will benefit from a substantial industrial return, not only in the aeronautical sector but also in all the other major areas of cooperation relating to the broad portfolio of dual technologies mastered by Dassault Aviation and its industrial partners, Safran Aircraft Engines and Thales.”

Indonesia has ordered 42 Dassault Rafales. © Dassault Aviation - K. Tokunaga/© Dassault Aviation - K. Tokunaga
Indonesia has ordered 42 Dassault Rafales. Dassault Aviation - K. Tokunaga

Eric Trappier commented: “It is a great honour for Dassault Aviation to see the Rafale join the highly prestigious Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara air force, and I would like to thank the Indonesian authorities for the trust they have placed in us. This contract marks the start of a long-term partnership that will see Dassault Aviation rapidly step up its presence in the country. It also demonstrates the strong bond between Indonesia and France and reinforces the position of the world’s largest archipelago as a key power on the international stage. I am confident that the Rafale will meet the operational needs of the Indonesian Air Force, actively contributing to the defence and sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia.”

This latest order follows on from a number of other countries opting for the Rafale in recent years with Greece procuring a total of 24 (a mix of second-hand and new-build), Croatia acquiring 12 second-hand examples and in December 2021 the United Arab Emirates announced it was buying 80 of the fighters. Other export orders have been to Egypt which has bought 56 Rafales, while both India and Qatar are acquiring 36.


Analysis - Alan Warnes, Group Editor at Large (AFM and CAJ)

With the Hawk Mk209s being replaced by the Rafales, what will happen to the proposed F-16 Block 70/72 buy? Well, it’s likely to be shelved, not just because the Indonesians are partnering with South Korea on the KAI KF-21 Boramae, but because the Indonesian Air Force is keen on the Boeing F-15EX Super Eagle to replace the Sukhoi Su-27/30s.