Indonesia to buy French fighter jets, as US approves F-15 plan

Indonesia to buy French fighter jets, as US approves F-15 plan

Indonesia has signed a deal to purchase France’s Rafale fighter jets while also winning U.

S.

approval for a potential purchase of F-15s, as the Southeast Asian country moves to modernize its military.

Indonesia’s defense ministry said in a statement that, Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and France’s Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly sign the agreement to obtain six Rafale aircraft during her visit to Jakarta.

“This first contract will be followed by another for 36 more jets with the support of weapons training and the necessary simulators,” Subianto said.

“Our strategic partnership will benefit from the deepening of our defense relations, France is proud to contribute to the modernization of our partner’s armed forces, which play a key role within ASEAN and in the Indo-Pacific,” both stated.

She also announced the beginning of cooperation between the two countries in submarine research and development.

Indonesia is the first Southeast Asian country to buy the jets, as part of plans to expand ties with other partners and suppliers of military equipment due to rising geopolitical tensions, particularly between China and the U.

S.

Until Indonesia’s deal, India was the only country in the Indo-Pacific region to close such contracts with France, making both significant military partners of the European country.

Defense ministers from Indonesia and France had signed a cooperation agreement in Paris in 2021, and negotiated over the acquisition of the Rafale aircraft for several months.

Indonesia’s planned upgrade of its military equipment includes as a priority the overhauling of its aging fighter jets.

Indonesia’s joint fighter jet production with South Korea had hit a snag and Jakarta has yet to follow through on a $1.

1 billion deal agreed in 2018 for Russia’s Su-35 jets.

READ ALSO: Indonesia to review coronavirus restrictions as regional cases surge
Kamila/Al-Jazeera
 
Indonesia to buy French fighter jets, as US approves F-15 plan

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