The Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara, TNI-AU) has recently welcomed a powerful addition to its fleet with the acquisition of a brand new Dassault Falcon 8X intercontinental business jet. This aircraft, registered under the number A-0801, was officially handed over to the Indonesian Air Force at the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport on November 8, 2023, as confirmed by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense. Global open-source intelligence company Janes reported this procurement marks a significant development in Indonesia’s ongoing contract with Dassault, which primarily centers around the acquisition of Dassault Rafale multirole fighter aircraft. This initial acquisition paves the way for the subsequent procurement of an additional 36 Rafale aircrafts, signifying Indonesia’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities significantly.
The Falcon 8X, A-0801, is an integral component of the initial stage of the contract aimed at obtaining Interim Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA), which encompasses six Rafale fighter aircraft. The Falcon 8X (A-0801) brings valuable support to the Indonesian Air Force’s Command and Control (Komando dan Pengendalian: Kodal) fleet. The Kodal plays a crucial role in gathering intelligence data and effectively distributing information, working in close coordination with the Indonesian Navy. This essential entity was transferred from Indonesia’s National Air Defense Command (Kohanudnas) to the Indonesian Air Force in January 2022, solidifying its significance within the nation’s defense structure.
The Dassault Falcon 8X is a large-cabin range business jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation. Notably derived from the Falcon 7X, this aircraft boasts an extended range of 6,450 nautical miles (approximately 11,950 kilometers). This impressive range is made possible through meticulous engine optimization, aerodynamic refinements, and an increase in fuel capacity. The 8X features a unique S-duct central engine, distinguishing it as one of the few trijets in production, alongside the 7X and the Falcon 900. The Falcon 8X was introduced to the world at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in May 2014. With a cabin 1.1 meters (3.5 feet) longer than the 7X, it offers ample space for comfort and functionality. The inaugural flight of the Falcon 8X prototype, registered as F-WWQA, took place at Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport on February 6, 2015.
The Falcon 8X’s three PW307D turbofans provide an extra 320 pounds of thrust each, making it 1.5% more fuel-efficient. Moreover, its maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) has been increased from 70,000 to 73,000 pounds, and the fuel capacity has been boosted by 3,200 pounds for an additional 500 nautical miles of range. The Falcon 8X boasts a lighter wing structure, which enhances comfort for passengers, and despite a 3.5-foot stretch, it operates with a mere 200-pound increase in empty weight compared to the 7X. This strict weight control ensures that most operators can either match or exceed Dassault’s estimated basic operating weights (BOWs) for a fully equipped aircraft with three crew members. With its unmatched structural efficiency, the Falcon 8X offers superior fuel efficiency, with an MTOW that falls below that of the Gulfstream IV-SP for a 4,100 nautical mile range.