Indonesia Finalizes Rafale Contract With France

The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has moved ahead with a plan to procure Rafale multirole fighter aircraft from Dassault Aviation.

In his response to questions at the MoD’s annual leaders’ rally for 2022 on 20 January, Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto told reporters that negotiations for the programme have been completed, and that the “contract” is now “awaiting activation”. He did not provide further details.

However, in response to queries, British magazine Janes reported on 25 January by a source close to the Indonesian MoD that a preamble contract worth $6.56 billion was signed with Dassault Aviation on 7 June 2021.

The contract, which stipulates a delivery of 36 airframes to the Indonesian Air Force, is not yet active given the lack of clarity over funding. Janes also reported that Indonesia is in the process of seeking a foreign lender to fund this programme.

A December 3 agreement for France to sell 80 Rafale fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was hailed as “historic” by French Minister of Defence Florence Parly. The CEO of Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation, Éric Trappier, also proclaimed his delight at the deal, which he described as the “most important contract ever obtained by the French military aeronautics industry”. Trappier was understandably euphoric as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed ben Zayed al-Nahyane, signed the €16 billion agreement (including €2 billion for weapons), a record for the French aircraft manufacturer.

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