Keeping Up With The Joneses….Rafales and F-15EX

Members of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s F-15EX program office take an up-close look inside one of the jets they support during a visit to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Nov. 9, 2021. USAF

SHAH ALAM: Keeping up with the Joneses… Rafales and F-15EX. The Indonesian government has decided to short list the Dassault Rafale and Boeing F-15EX fighter jets for its next fighter purchase, its air force chief said. The government has also decided not to complete the procurement of the Sukhoi Su-35 fighters, 11 of which were provisionally purchased in 2015.

A CGI of two F-15EX flying. Boeing

Indonesian Air Force chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo told the local media in Jakarta on December 22 that the government was looking at the procurement of the Rafale and the F-15EX. “With a heavy heart, we must abandon the plan to purchase the Su-35s,” he was quoted as saying by the online version of the Kompas newspaper.
Two Dassault Rafales taxing to the runway for take off in June 2021. French Air Force

Kompas did not say why the Flanker deal was abandoned though it was likely that Indonesia did not want to be placed under sanctions for breaching the US CAATSA law.
Dassault Rafales of Egyptian Air Force. Dassault- Anthony Pecchi

Fadjar said the government was now looking to allocate the funding for the procurement of the French and US-made fighter jets. Meanwhile, state-owned news agency, Antara quoted Fadjar as saying that the number of fighters to be procured will be up to two or three squadrons, more than 30 aircraft.
An F-15EX fighter jet taxis to its parking spot at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Nov. 8, 2021. USAF

Previous reports suggested that Indonesia was planning to buy 36 Rafales and eight F-15EX. Fadjar said he had met Boeing officials previously who told him that if Indonesia signed the deal for the F-15EX, the aircraft will be delivered in 2027.

— Malaysian Defenc

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Shah Alam


  1. I saw cloudy on LCA plan due to this massive flood. A lot of people angry and will not accept if government going to big spend on military. While our neighbour just like going shopping and pick their toy and put into trolley.

  2. So Indonesia is getting both Rafale and F15EX while we are buying LIFT/LCA. I am not sure why they had “heavy heart” about abandoning buying Su-35s if they can afford to buy Rafales and F15EX.

  3. Luqman – ”I am not sure why they had “heavy heart” about abandoning”

    Because the Indonesians – especially after East Timor – have a policy of having a West/East mix in order to not be too dependent on once source and because the Su-35 still has political backing.

  4. @Luqman
    Heavy cuz they ady got an eclectic mix of Russian, American, Korean, & UK fleet of fighters. Adding 2 new plane models (one of which is French) which they have to setup the support systems from ground up as compared to adding more numbers to ones they ady have (SU35), is indeed a big headache even if the new planes are Western and qualitatively better than the Russians.

    Having said that, even with these buys realised, I believe the Indonesians haven’t given up on KFX and maybe will buy it 10-20 years from now once it has matured. We don’t have such luxuries.

  5. @Azlan and joe

    Good points. Still, maintaining those Rafale and F15EX ‘might’ be cheaper in the long run even though they need to add another platform. Even if Indonesia bought Su35, there might still less chance of them getting CAATSA. India and Vietnam are safe as of now. Still, the risk is still there. To be frank back in 2018, India, Indonesia and Vietnam were officially exempted from CAATSA but that was back then. Instead of Su35, Indonesia can consider Su30sm/sm2 but it’s too late for that right now. Btw, Rafale is selling like hotcakes right now since the past few years with Egypt, UAE, India, Greece and Croatia buying them

  6. @Michael
    There’s little bearing of this floods to what we can or can’t militarily. The current floods is a disaster that could not have been avoided. The departments at the forefront are stretched thin by the scale. The Bomba, Police and Army will perhaps be using this floods to justify future asset purchases.
    Adding on to what lessons can be drawn from this episode, we see a dichotomy of response from the haphazard Selangor handling of the situation to the stoic and ‘prepared response'(it’s an annual event) of the East Coast states.

  7. Luqman, no one will come under CAATSA until they complete the purchase and take delivery and not granted a waiver. There is no blanket exemption, it will always be a case-by-case basis. Look what happened with Turkey. It was told that if they take delivery of the S-400, sanctions will be imposed. If the delivery did not take place, sanctions will not imposed.

  8. luqman – ”Still, maintaining those Rafale and F15EX ‘might’ be cheaper in the long run even though they need to add another platform. ”

    It will be a logistics/support nightmare to maintain a create another 2 separate training support infrastructures but that is a penalty Indonesia is willing to incur; commonality is not a priority. Another reason Indonesia reportedly dropped the Su-35 was because the Russians were not very willing with tech transfer. Getting back; the reason the TNI-AU spoke about a ”heavy heart’ was because it still desired a Western/Eastern mix and there is backing for Russian fighters.

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