Indonesia has expressed interest in acquiring Austria’s fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, in yet another surprise twister in defense procurement plan from the southeast Asian country.
Indonesia’s defense minister, Prabowo Subianto, wrote a letter to his Austrian counterpart, Klaudia Tanner, seeking to initiate negotiations to buy all 15 Typhoons Tranche 1 belonging to the Austrian Air Force.
In his letter, which was published by Indonesian news outlets, Prabowo said the potential purchase will assist in his aims to continue modernizing the Indonesian Air Force.
He added that he understood the “sensitivity” of his proposal, which was likely to be a reference to the continued controversy surrounding Austria’s 2002 acquisition of the Typhoon. That purchase has been dogged by questions about cost and the effectiveness of the aircraft. More recently, there have been allegations of corruption related to the original contract award.
Indonesia’s interest in the fleet comes two weeks after the surprise announcement that the U.S. State Department cleared the country to buy the Bell-Boeing MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
Indonesia has been seeking 24 F-16V fighter aircraft to serve alongside its fleet of 23 refurbished early-block Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon jets.
Indonesia had recently cancelled the Su-35 negotiation over fears that it may be subject to American sanctions.
The sanctions would come from a U.S. law, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) that targets Iran, North Korea and Russia and governments from acquiring weapons or military hardware and parts from U.S. adversaries.
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