In a significant move to enhance Indonesia’s defense capabilities, Air Chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo, S.E., M.P.P., CSFA, the Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force, embarked on a productive factory visit to Dassault Aviation in Bordeaux, France, on October 10, 2023. This was no ordinary visit; it entailed a direct inspection of the production center responsible for crafting the Rafale fighter aircraft, which will soon become a vital part of the Indonesian Air Force. The objective of this visit was to fortify the collaboration between the Indonesian Air Force and the esteemed aircraft manufacturer, Dassault Aviation. During the visit, the Chief of Staff engaged in a symbolic exchange of mementos with Hugues Chambonniere, the Director of the Merignac Plant at Dassault Aviation.
This visit bore witness to the presence of several distinguished officials, including the Assistant Intelligence of Kasau, the Head of the Defense Industry and Facilities Policy Bureau at the Ministry of Defense, the Indonesian Attaché for Defense and the Indonesian Attaché for Air Force Affairs in Paris, and representatives from the French Embassy in Indonesia. Their participation underscored the significance of the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and France, particularly in the realm of defense cooperation and state-of-the-art aerospace military technology. The Indonesian Air Force’s quest for state-of-the-art defense capabilities is evident in this factory visit to Dassault Aviation, a company renowned for its expertise in crafting advanced fighter aircraft.
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. 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.
In February 2021, Indonesia’s Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto announced that the purchase of 36 units, as part of a large procurement programme including A330 tankers and complementary American products, was planned and that funds had been secured for its finalization. On 7 June 2021, Indonesia signed a letter of intent to buy 36 Rafales and associated weapons and support. On 20 January 2022, 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, consisting of 30 single-seat and 12 double-seat. The first tranche for six Rafales came into force in September 2022. On 10 August 2023, Dassault Aviation announced that a contract covering a second tranche of 18 Rafale fighters for Indonesia had come into force that day, bringing the total under contract to 24.