Indonesia is close to an agreement to purchase 48 Rafale jets as part of a comprehensive defence cooperation deal with France.
Negotiations between France and Indonesia are progressing very well on the sale of 48 Rafale to the Indonesian Air Force, French publication; La Tribune reported quoting its sources.
During a visit to Paris on October 21, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto reiterated his keen interest in the Dassault Aviation fighter plane.
“And the Indonesians would like to go very quickly and would even like an agreement before the end of the year, while the French negotiators would like to take a little time to complete an agreement in a meticulous manner,” the publication’s sources said.
The two countries have initiated a strategic dialogue this year with the objective of quickly signing a cooperation agreement in the field of defense.
Indonesia has recently turned down an offer from the US to buy F-16 jets after the US declined to sell it F-35 fighters. Besides, its deal to buy 12 Su-35 jets from Russsia is in cold storage since 2018.
Dassault is on a roll with a recent order from Greece to buy Rafale jets and on-going contracts with India, Egypt and Qatar and might be ok to a parts-manufacturing eco-system which Indonesia is said to be proposing.
Talks of Indonesia wanting to buy Rafale jets, Gowind Corvettes and Scorpene submarines have been on since January this year when Defense Minister Subianto held a bilateral meeting with his French counterpart Florence Parly in Paris besides discussions with French defence firms such as Dassault Aviation, Thales, Naval Group and Nexter.
The Indonesian Embassy in Paris had put out a statement then on Subianto’s visit, "As a country with an advanced defense industry, France can be a strategic partner in Indonesia's efforts to modernize its weaponry defense system and accelerate the development of our national defense industry. This will support efforts to make the national defense industry a part of the 'global production chain'. In this context, our defense minister placed special attention on the development of the defense industry when discussing defense cooperation.”
Indonesia has made joint production a cornerstone of its defence procurement policy. In keeping with this policy it entered into a partnership with South Korea on the FF-X project. There are reports that Jakarta is less than happy with the progress in that project and might seek an exit.