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Indonesia Postpones Controversial Purchase of Qatar’s Used Mirage 2000-5 Fighter Jets

The decision to defer the purchase of the used Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar was confirmed by Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, who serves as the spokesperson for Indonesia's Defense Minister, Prabowo Subianto. This confirmation was made during an episode of the Kabar Petang program broadcasted on TV One last night.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Indonesia has decided to defer its controversial  plan to purchase 12 used Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from the Qatar Air Force due to “fiscal constraints” in the country.

 Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, spokesperson for Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, confirmed this decision during a recent broadcast of the Kabar Petang program on TV One.

“The purchase plan for the Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets is temporarily postponed due to fiscal limitations in Indonesia,” he stated when queried by the program’s host about the decision to acquire used fighter jets from the French company Dassault Aviation.

Dahnil further explained that there is a need for the acquisition of the Qatari Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to address what he described as a “capability gap” while Indonesia awaits the delivery of Rafale fighter jets ordered from France.

 Jakarta is set to receive the first batch of Rafale fighter jets in 2026.

The controversial issue of Indonesia’s intended purchase of the used Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar has sparked heated discussions among political parties gearing up for the upcoming presidential elections in the country.

Mirage

Several critics have voiced their concerns over Defense Minister Prabowo’s decision to acquire these fighter jets from Qatar.

Prabowo is also one of the candidate standing in the Indonesia’s presidential election to replace Joko Widodo who will end his tenure.

The Qatar Air Force obtained the Mirage 2000-5 aircraft approximately 25 years ago in 1998.

However, when announcing the decision to acquire them last July, the Indonesian Defense Minister mentioned that the 12 used Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets still had 70 percent of their flying hours remaining.

“The Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets have an estimated lifespan of about 15 years with the Indonesian  Air Force, as they have only utilized 30 percent of their total flying hours until now,” he explained.

Dassault Aviation-manufactured fighter jets typically have a lifespan of 5,000 flight hours, indicating that the Qatar Air Force has only used around 1,500 flight hours over the 25 years of service.

Prabowo
Indonesia Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto

Prabowo

Indonesia is set to receive nine single-seat Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets and three twin-seat fighter jets, with an estimated cost of US$797 million (RM3.6 billion).

In recent years, Qatar has significantly invested in enhancing its military capabilities, acquiring 36 Rafale fighter jets, 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets, and 36 F-15QA fighter jets.

The Indonesian Defense Minister emphasized that the acquisition of the 12 used Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets is a temporary measure to ensure the high readiness of the Southeast Asian country’s air force while the existing fighter jets undergo maintenance and refurbishment.

“While we await the arrival of the Rafale fighter jets, we need interim fighter jets that we can operate immediately,” he stated.

 According to the plan, the 12 used Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets will be operated by Squadron 1 of the Indonesian Air Force, based at Supadio Air Base in Pontianak.

rafale
Rafale by Dassault Aviation

 

Certainly, the Mirage 2000-5 aircraft will enable pilots and crews to familiarize themselves with French technology before transitioning to operating the Rafale fighter jets.

The Qatar Air Force retired the single-engine fighter jets developed by Dassault Aviation in 2021, shortly after acquiring 36 Rafale fighter jets in 2015 and 2017.

It has been reported that Jakarta is utilizing foreign loans to acquire the Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar, which were introduced by the manufacturer, Dassault Aviation, in 1967.

 The Indonesian Ministry of Defense previously stated that the country had signed a purchase agreement for the Qatari-owned fighter jets with Excalibur International, a subsidiary of the Czechoslovak Group. — DSA

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