Indonesia is set to become the first export customer for the F-15EX after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of at least 24 Eagle II fighters was signed during a recent visit of Indonesia’s Minister of Defence Prabowo Subianto to the firm’s F-15 production line in St Louis, Missouri.
Boeing revealed that the MoU relating to Jakarta’s proposed F-15EX purchase – which remains subject to US government approval – was signed by AVM Yusuf Jauhari, head of the Indonesian Ministry of Defence’s (MOD’s) Defense Facilities Agency, and Mark Sears, vice president and program manager of Boeing’s Fighters division, at the firm’s St Louis facility on August 21. The signing of this MoU comes after the US State Department disclosed that Jakarta was contemplating the purchase of up to 36 F-15EXs for an estimated cost of $13.9bn (including spare parts and support services) in February 2022.
Commenting on the proposed purchase, Subianto said: “We are pleased to announce our commitment to procure the critical F-15EX fighter capability for Indonesia. This state-of-the-art fighter will protect and secure our nation with its advanced capabilities.”
While the MoU only covers the procurement 24 F-15EXs, industry sources indicate that the nation will procure at least 36 examples in total once the nation’s current budget constraints have been resolved. Jakarta’s planned acquisition of the F-15EX comes less than a month after the nation entered into a deal with Dassault Aviation for the purchase of an additional 18 Rafales, growing the number of examples of the multi-role fighter ordered by Indonesia to 42.
Despite Indonesia’s purchase of the Rafale, the F-15EX will provide a pivotal step-change in capability for the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU), given that the twin-engine fighter boasts an effective combat range of more than 650nmi (1,203km) and up to 31,700lb (14,400kg) of external ordnance, which is far greater than what is offered by the service’s current single-engine fighter fleets. The purchase also cements Jakarta’s alignment with the US in the Indo-Pacific amidst the ever-growing threat of aggression from China. While the sale of Eagle IIs to Indonesia is still subject to US government approval, the proposed Indonesian variant of the fighter has already been designated the F-15IDN.