Indonesia commits to Boeing F-15EX acquisition

Boeing F-15EX combat aircraft
Indonesia has committed to buying 24 Boeing F-15EX combat aircraft.

Indonesia has moved closer to acquiring Boeing’s latest F-15EX fighter aircraft following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the company at its St Louis facility on 21 August. The MOU was signed during an official visit by Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto to the US.

Boeing said that the MOU establishes a “commitment to finalise the sale” of 24 F-15EX aircraft, which will be designated the F-15IDN in Indonesian service. The company added that the Indonesian aircraft will leverage on the base aircraft’s capabilities such as “fly-by-wire flight controls, a new electronic warfare system, an all-glass digital cockpit, and the latest mission systems and software capabilities”.

“We are pleased to announce our commitment to procure the critical F-15EX fighter capability for Indonesia,” Prabowo said in a statement, added that the “state-of-the-art fighter will protect and secure our nation with its advanced capabilities.”

The Indonesian MoD and Boeing did not disclose the value of the potential deal, which has not been finalised and is still subjected to final approval by the US government. However, the MOU represents a reduction of 12 aircraft from the 36 initially requested by Indonesia in February 2022.

At that time the US Department of State announced that it had earlier approved the sale of up to 36 F-15EXs under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme with an estimated value of US$13.9 billion, comprising US$9.8 billion for the airframes and around US$4.4 for associated equipment.

“The F-15EX can carry up to 29,500 lb of payload,” the Indonesian MoD stated.

“This makes it capable of carrying more weapons than previous-generation fighters [and] equipped with modern engines that give more speed and agility to the aircraft,” it added.

The latest MOU is one of several efforts underway by the Indonesian MoD to beef up the air force’s air combat capabilities, following the payment of an advance to France for a second tranche of 18 Dassault Rafale multirole combat aircraft in August.

The Southeast Asian country is also co-funding development of the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 Boramae combat aircraft that will eventually enter Republic of Korea Air Force service, but has run into a series of well-publicised disputes over payment.

by Jr Ng