Indonesia has scrapped a plan to buy 12 used Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighters from Qatar, amid criticism for the deal during its presidential election campaign.

Speaking with Indonesian media on 10 February, defence ministry spokesperson Dahnil Anzir Simanjuntak said that no contract was signed, and that Jakarta has decided not to go ahead with the plan.


Source: US Navy

Indonesia was to spend almost $750 million to acquire the dozen Mirage fighters from Qatar

Media reports from Indonesia suggest that defence minister Prabowo Subianto, the favourite to win Indonesia’s presidential election on 14 February, had come in for criticism about the deal from the other presidential contenders.

Simanjuntak’s remarks come just one month after he said that the €733 million ($789 million) deal was delayed owing to a lack of funds. Instead, he said money would be earmarked to upgrade other types, namely Lockheed Martin F-16s and Sukhoi Su-30s.

News of the Qatari Mirage deal first surfaced in June 2023. At the time, reports suggested that a contract had been signed in January 2023, with the deal brokered by Excalibur International, a unit of Czechoslovak Group. Simanjuntak’s 10 February remarks appear to contradict suggestions that a firm contract was in place.

FlightGlobal has asked Excalibur to comment.

News that the Mirage deal is not moving forward comes at a time of flux for Indonesian airpower.

Two Indonesian engineers working in South Korea on the Korea Aerospace Industries KF-21 programme are under investigation for allegedly trying to steal sensitive information using USB drives. 

Jakarta is a 20% partner in the KF-21 effort, but has consistently failed to cover its share of development costs, raising questions about its commitment. Plans call for Jakarta to one day obtain about 50 examples of a special Indonesian version of the fighter, designed IF-X.

The impact of the espionage allegations on Jakarta’s involvement is not clear. FlightGlobal understands that there is dissatisfaction in Indonesia with the level of technology transfer that South Korea is willing to provide.

Indonesia is also a potential customer for the Boeing F-15EX. In August 2023, Subianto signed a memorandum of understanding with the US manufacturer for the potential acquisition of 24 F-15EXs.

Finalising the deal is contingent on the blessings of the US government. In February 2022, the US Defense Cooperation Security Agency announced that the Department of State had approved a possible $13.9 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal to provide Indonesia with 36 Boeing F-15IDs, which is based on the F-15EX now entering US Air Force service.

Cirium fleets data indicates that Indonesia has 75 fixed-wing aircraft dedicated to combat roles. These comprise 13 Embraer EMB-14 Super Tucanos, 25 F-16C/Ds, 21 BAE Systems Hawk 200 light-attack jets, five Su-27s, and 11 Su-30MKs.

In addition, seven F-16 and seven Hawk 100 training aircraft have a secondary combat mission.