The Indonesian Air Force has finalized a deal to purchase 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar Emiri Air Force for $792 million, according to an announcement made by the country’s Defense Ministry. The decision to acquire these aircraft comes as the Indonesian Air Force faces increasing tensions in the South China Sea and a pressing need to bolster its defense capabilities. The purchase contract was signed earlier this year with Excalibur International, a subsidiary of Czech defense company Czechoslovak Group, with delivery expected within the next two years. The Mirage 2000-5 jets, originally manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation, were previously in service with the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
This procurement decision was driven by the fact that Indonesia is still waiting for the delivery of the six Rafale jets it agreed to purchase from France in 2022. On 10 February 2022, Dassault stated that Indonesia had officially signed an order for 42 Rafale F4. hjThe first three Rafale jets will only be handed over to the Indonesian Defense Ministry in January 2026. Since the Indonesian Air Force urgently requires modern aircraft, the acquisition of the Mirage jets was seen as a necessary interim measure. Additionally, negotiations are ongoing for the planned purchase of F-15 fighters from the United States. This agreement was reached shortly after the Rafale deal and is expected to be finalized soon.
The Indonesian Defense Ministry justified the rapid succession of fighter jet acquisitions by highlighting the retirement of many aging aircraft in the Indonesian Air Force, as well as the need for upgrades, overhauls, and repairs on other existing aircraft. The procurement of these Mirage 2000-5 jets will help address the declining combat readiness of the Indonesian Air Force by quickly providing them with capable fighter aircraft. Although the ministry did not disclose the specific age of the Mirage 2000-5 jets, it is worth noting that the model is an upgraded version of the Mirage 2000, which was originally designed in the 1970s. Despite their age, these aircraft have undergone enhancements to improve their performance and capabilities.
The purchased Mirage jets will be stationed at Supadio Airbase in West Kalimantan province, strategically located near Indonesia’s Natuna islands in the southern region of the South China Sea. This move demonstrates Indonesia’s commitment to protecting its territorial integrity and asserting its presence in the face of growing assertiveness from China, which has been involved in numerous incidents with Indonesian and other Southeast Asian vessels near the Natuna islands. As Indonesia navigates the complex geopolitical dynamics of the South China Sea, bolstering its defense capabilities with the acquisition of these Mirage 2000-5 jets is a significant step. The purchase will enhance Indonesia’s aerial combat readiness and strengthen its position in safeguarding its maritime interests, while negotiations for additional fighter jets continue.