THE government of Indonesia has postponed a plan for the purchase of 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighter aircraft previously used by Qatar, with the delay attributed to limited fiscal capacity according to spokesperson for Indonesia’s Ministry of Defense. The decision came from the defence and finance ministries, stating that the Indonesian military would retrofit their existing Sukhoi and General Dynamics F-16 aircraft. The purchase of the second-hand jets were subject to criticisms due to the age of the jets as they were acquired nearly 30 years ago and purportedly seen little use and kept in storage since the mid-2000s.
In June 2023, Indonesia signed a USD801.68 million deal with Czech Republic defence firm Czechoslovak Group for the dozen Mirages with the delivery date of the used jets scheduled within 24 months after the sigining. The aircraft were purchased for use while Indonesia awaits the impending arrival of the remaining Dassault Rafales purchased from France in 2022. The axing of the deal also was reportedly attributed to the difficulties encountered by the Indonesian government in obtaining a foreign loan to fund the purchase. The move comes at a time where Indonesian President Jokowi approved to increase the nation’s defence spending by 20% through 2024 in November last year. shp/adj/dl (Pix:US Navy)