The Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) has dispatched six pilots to France to attend training sessions to man the 4.5-generation Dassault Rafale fighter jets purchased by Indonesia. The Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo stated that pilots and engineers will spend three months in France for the training session. On 20 January 2022, Indonesia’s Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto confirmed that Indonesia completed the negotiation of the contract pending activation of the formal agreement by France. On 10 February 2022, Dassault stated that Indonesia had officially signed an order for 42 Rafale F4, concluding two years of negotiations with six Batch 1 aircraft, consisting of 30 single-seat and 12 double-seat.
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. The Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale is referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault. Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and was selected for purchase by the Egyptian Air Force, the Indian Air Force, the Qatar Air Force, the Hellenic Air Force, the Croatian Air Force, the Indonesian Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force.
The Rafale was developed as a modern jet fighter with a very high level of agility; Dassault chose to combine a delta wing with active close-coupled canard to maximize manoeuvrability. The aircraft is capable of withstanding from ?3.6g to 9g (10.5g on Rafale solo display and a maximum of 11g can be reached in case of emergency). The Rafale is an aerodynamically unstable aircraft and uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to artificially enforce and maintain stability. The aircraft’s canards also act to reduce the minimum landing speed to 115 knots (213 km/h; 132 mph); while in flight, airspeeds as low as 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) have been observed during training missions. The Rafale has sufficient low speed performance to operate from STOBAR-configured aircraft carriers.
For compatibility with armaments of varying types and origins, the Rafale’s onboard store management system is compliant with MIL-STD-1760, an electrical interface between an aircraft and its carriage stores, thereby simplifying the incorporation of many of their existing weapons and equipment. The Rafale is typically outfitted with 14 hardpoints, five of which are suitable for heavy armament or equipment such as auxiliary fuel tanks, and has a maximum external load capacity of nine tons. The Rafale carries the 30 mm GIAT 30 revolver cannon and can be outfitted with a range of laser-guided bombs and ground-attack munitions. The Rafale’s onboard mission systems enable ground attack and air-to-air combat operations to be carried out within a single sortie.