In what came as a bolt from the blue, Indonesia has offered to buy over a dozen used Eurofighter jets from Austria.
Austrian defense minister Klaudia Tanner received a letter dated July 10 from his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto intended to acquire 11 Eurofighters, Die Presse newspaper reported Sunday.
“To achieve my target of modernizing the Indonesian Air Force, I would, therefore, like to propose to enter into official deliberation with you, your Excellency, on purchasing all 15 Eurofighter Typhoons from Austria for the Air Force of the Republic of Indonesia,” Prabowo said in the alleged letter circulated in social media.
There is no official confirmation from Indonesia or Austria on this matter.
Austria bought the 15 jets in 2002 for nearly €2.3 billion. These jets are from Tranche 1, a marker for basic operational capabilities, which focuses more on air-defense missions. Eurofighter consortium has offered upgrades to Tranches 2 and 3, which greatly improves the fighter’s ground attack capabilities.
In February 2017, Defense Ministry Hans Peter Doskozil sued Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium in February for allegedly deliberately misleading Vienna about the purchase price, delivery times and technical equipment of the 18 jets in 2003 contract. Austria has filed a lawsuit to recoup €1.1 billion against Airbus.
Jakarta is said to have previously studied purchasing Su-35s from Russia, American F-35 and F-16 fighters, and French Rafale jets.
On July 6, the U.S. State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Indonesia of 8 MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2 billion. It came as a surprise as Indonesia was not earlier known to be in the running to buy the MV-22 Ospreys, which are the most expensive rotorcraft in the U.S. and sold only to a handful of foreign customers.