Indonesia has refused to buy the Russian fighter aircraft Sukhoi SU-35 amid growing tensions with China. The country has now started preparations to purchase the US state-of-the-art fighter aircraft F-15Ex, transport aircraft C-130J Surper Hercules, Predator Drone, Rafale fighter aircraft from France, Early Warning Radar from Italy.
In December last year, Indonesia signed an agreement to purchase 36 units of Rafale fighter jets from France. This was confirmed by French Defense Minister Florence Parle himself.
What weapons will Indonesia buy?
According to the Asia Times report, Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabao Subianto said that the French-made Rafale and American F-15EX jets are preparing to include the fighters. We will get these aircraft in the next three years, which will strengthen our front line air security. It is set to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets, 8 Boeing F-15 EXs, three Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, six MQ-1 Predator drones with three Airbus A330 tankers for air refueling. In addition, Indonesia is also purchasing Leonardo Early Warning Radar System from Italy.
Will Indonesia be able to spend so much money?
If Indonesia buys all these weapons, it will be its biggest defense deal. But, the big question is whether Indonesia has an amount of $ 11 billion which it can spend in lieu of this deal. Indeed, experts believe that Indonesia is already in debt. The economic condition of this country has become thinner due to Corona virus. In such a situation, how can the government spend so much money in defense purchases without threats of external aggression.
How much is Indonesia’s defense budget?
Indonesia’s defense budget for 2021 is US $ 9.2 billion. The 2021 spending also includes $ 3 billion for military modernization. In such a situation, the government will have to spend total money on these weapons only. President Joko Widodo proposed to put the budget in 2019 to $ 20 billion. At that time, Indonesia’s GDP was growing at a rate of 7 percent. But Indonesia’s GDP is only 5 percent at the moment and foreign investment is almost at a standstill.
Indonesia says no to Russian fighter jets
Indonesia had previously planned to purchase 11 Su-35 and 16 twin-engined Su-27 and Su-30 combat aircraft. The $ 1.1 billion deal was expected to further strengthen defense relations between Indonesia and Russia. But, America has changed the whole atmosphere by showing fear of Katsa sanctions. The US warned that if Indonesia bought arms from Russia, it could be banned.