Indonesia confirms Qatari Mirage 2000 buy

Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter.
Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter.

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has confirmed that it has agreed to buy Qatar’s fleet of French-built Dassault Mirage 2000 combat aircraft to address a persistent air defence gap, the service said in a 14 June announcement.

The TNI-AU stated that it had signed a €733 million (US$793.14 million) contract in January 2023 to acquire the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF’s) fleet of 12 Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters, comprising nine single-seat Mirage 2000-5EDA aircraft and three twin-seat Mirage 2000-5DDA aircraft.

The deal will be financed by foreign loans and was brokered by Czech company Excalibur International, which will also serve as an intermediary. The aircraft will be delivered within two years after the contract comes into force, the service added.

According to the TNI-AU, the contract also provisions for 14 spare engines, unspecified weapons, ground support equipment, crew training and other ancillary support, including up to three years of support services.

The statement noted the QEAF Mirage 2000 aircraft will be operated by 1 Squadron based at Supadio Air Base at Pontianak on the west coast of the island of Kalimantan. It added that the type was being acquired as an interim measure to bolster the country’s air defence capabilities following the phasing out of the TNI-AU’s Northrop Grumman F-5E/F Tiger II light fighters and the increasing obsolescence of its BAE Hawk 209 light combat aircraft.

Indonesia earlier planned to acquire the Russian Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker combat aircraft and entered into a provisional agreement with Rosoboronexport in February 2018, but concerns over potential US sanctions had scuppered the deal, prompting Jakarta to turn to France and acquire six of what is hoped to be an eventual 42 newbuild Dassault Rafale fighters. The first three Rafale aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2026.

The country is also negotiating the purchase of Boeing F-15EX Eagle fighters, with the TNI-AU revealing in its statement that it is in discussion with the US government on the letter of offer and acceptance.

Besides the QEAF Mirages, Indonesia had earlier sought negotiations with Austria in July 2020 to procure all 15 Tranche 1 Typhoon combat aircraft operated by the Austrian Air Force.

The TNI-AU operates a mix of Russian Sukhoi Su-27SK/SMK and Su-30MK2/MKK as well as the US-made Lockheed Martin F-16A/B/C/Ds.

by Jr Ng