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Indonesian Air Force to Buy Rafale and F-15 EX Jet Fighters
"We want a generation 4.5 aircraft and want a 'heavy' or medium and above. Because we currently have the F-16, we already have the Russian-made Sukhoi," said Air Force Chief of Staff (Kasau) Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo talking to mass media in the Press Tour and Media Gathering at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base, East Jakarta, Wednesday, December 22, 2021.
He said the decision to purchase fighter aircraft is narrowed to two planes, the French-made Rafale aircraft and the United States-made F-15 EX. "This is also the result of thinking from the Ministry of Defense," said Marshal Fadjar.
Planning to purchase Sukhoi Su-35 has been abandoned. "Sukhoi Su-35 with a heavy heart, yes (canceled). We have to leave the plan because we came back from the beginning, we noticed that the development of airpower is very dependent on the budget," Fadjar explained.
The presence of these fighter aircraft will increase the strength of the Indonesian Air Force in maintaining the sovereignty of Indonesian airspace from enemy threats.
"If the planes (approved), maybe two to three squadrons. God willing (more than 30 planes)," said Fadjar.
According to Fadjar, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has given an explanation to Minister of National Development Planning/ Head of National Development Planning Agency regarding the budget for the procurement of fighter aircraft that will be used for the next 30-40 years.
"There is nothing in the strategic plan. This is indeed the opinion of the Minister of Defense with input from us as well," he said.
The former Commander of the Joint Defense Region II Command admitted that the team from the F-15 EX had met him to discuss the plan to procure the fighter aircraft. "This is a little information. The F-15 EX team has come to me. I asked if today we agreed on the first initial unit, when will we receive it? The answer is yes, around 2027," said Marshal Fadjar.