Janes reported that the Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has moved ahead with a plan to procure Rafale multirole fighter aircraft from Dassault Aviation. In his response to questions at the Ministry of Defense’s annual leaders’ rally for 2022 on 20 January, Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto told reporters that negotiations for the programme have been completed, and that the “contract” is now “awaiting activation”. He did not provide further details. In January 2020, the Indonesian government expressed some interest in buying up to 48 Rafales to modernise its air force.
Janes was also informed on 25 January by a source close to the Indonesian MoD that a preamble contract worth EUR5.8 billion (USD6.56 billion) was signed with Dassault Aviation on 7 June 2021. In February 2021, Indonesia’s Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto announced that the purchase of 36 units, as part of an ambitious procurement programme including A330 tankers and complementary American products, is officially planned and that funds have been secured for its finalization. On 7 June 2021, Indonesia signed a letter of intent to buy 36 Rafale fighters and associated weapons and support packages from France.
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. Many of the aircraft’s avionics and features, such as direct voice input, the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and the optronique secteur frontal infra-red search and track (IRST) sensor, were domestically developed and produced for the Rafale programme.
Rafales are capable of air defence/superiority missions with Mica IR and EM air-to-air missiles, and precision ground attacks typically using SCALP EG cruise missiles and AASM Hammer air-to-surface missiles. In addition, anti-shipping missions could be carried out using the AM39 Exocet sea skimming missile, while reconnaissance flights would use a combination of onboard and external pod-based sensor equipment. Furthermore, the aircraft could conduct nuclear strikes when armed with ASMP-A missiles. France ordered 200 MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range missiles which will greatly increase the distance at which the Rafale can engage aerial targets when the missile enters service.