Indonesia signs contract for six Rafale fighter jets with France

A Rafale fighter jet in September 2021 (illustration image).

Christophe SIMON AFP/Archivos

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1 min

After a prosperous year in 2021 in terms of combat aircraft orders, Dassault is continuing its momentum and has just signed a contract with Indonesia for the first six Rafales.

In total, Jakarta could buy up to 42 Rafale according to the Indonesian Defense Minister.

This is the first time that the largest country in Southeast Asia has purchased French combat aircraft.

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Today, faced with rising Asia-Pacific tensions between China and the United States, Indonesia is seeking to diversify its alliances and suppliers of military equipment.

The equipment it has is aging.

These are essentially American F-16s and Russian Sukhoi.

Jakarta is therefore in negotiation with multiple partners in order to renew its combat aircraft.

Paris wants to strengthen ties with Jakarta

And the choice is sometimes forced.

A contract that the archipelago had signed in 2018 for the purchase of eleven fighter jets from Russia never materialized.

At issue: the American Caatsa law which provides for automatic sanctions when a country concludes a “significant transaction” with the Russian arms sector.

For its part, France is seeking to strengthen ties with Indonesia after seeing its strategy for asserting itself in the Asia-Pacific shaken last year.

Australia has broken a mega-contract to buy French submarines

for the benefit of the AUKUS alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom.

Jakarta and Paris have also initiated cooperation in the field of submarines. 

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