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Awaiting the presence of Rafale Jets to strengthen Indonesia’s air defense

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia has approved the purchase of 42 generation 4.5 Rafale fighter jets from France through the signing of a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation.

Dassault Avation’s initial procurement progress was when six units were purchased under the initial contract. Meanwhile, 36 other units are claimed to be followed in the near future.

“We will get 42 Rafale aircraft. Starting today the first contract is for six aircraft, which will follow in the near future for 36 aircraft with the support of the necessary training of weapons and simulators,” Prabowo said after witnessing the signing of the contract . and French Defense Minister Florence Parly at the Ministry of Defense, Jakarta, Thursday (10/2/2022).

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Rafale is known as a versatile aircraft because it can be used for various missions. For example, ban (ban), aerial reconnaissance (air recognition), ground support (ground support), anti-ship strike (anti-ship attack) and nuclear deterrent mission (nuclear deterrent mission).

The aircraft, which first appeared in 2001, has been used by a number of countries to date. Among others, Qatar, Greece, India, Dubai, Croatia, and Egypt.

Even though Indonesia has signed a contract, in reality Indonesia must be patient to catch up with other countries that have already operated the Rafale. This is because the six aircraft in the new initial contract will be delivered in the next 56 months after signing the active contract.

“It’s a long process. It means that when Prabowo is no longer the defense minister, this plane becomes our defense force,” said Prabowo’s spokesman, Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, on Friday (11/2/2022).

On the other hand, the acquisition of twin-engine aircraft from Snecma is Indonesia’s effort to build an air defense force.

Read also: Indonesian Air Force soldiers, Candidate for Jet Rafale Pilot will practice in France.

Purchasing this aircraft is also urgent. Recall that the condition of Indonesian fighter preparations has experienced a setback in recent years.

One of the most glaring issues is the age of the fighter. Some of the older aircraft include the F5 Tiger, Hawk 100 and 200.

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Defense Secretary General Marsdya Donny Ermawan Taufano said that Indonesia now only relies on 33 F-16 aircraft over 30 years old.

Meanwhile, 16 Sukhoi Su 27 and Su 30 fighters are nearly 20 years old.

“With these conditions, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense to plan the fighter jets that will be used in the 2030s and 2040s,” Donny said in the webinar ‘Welcoming the Rafale Plane’, Thursday (17/2/2020).

Based on data from Global Fire Power (GFP) in 2022, Indonesia said that there are main weapon systems (defense equipment) for air power as much as 445 units.

Read also: KSAU will appoint qualified soldiers for the Rafale Jets crew to undertake training in France.

Starting from 15 units of attack helicopters, 172 units of helicopters, to 41 units of fighters.

Former Marapi Consulting and Advisory researcher Beni Sukadis assessed the number of current fighters was not enough to protect the national air defense zone.

With the division of three defense zones, namely west, center, and east, Indonesia preferably has 8 to 10 fighter squadrons or more than 100 fighter units.

However, it is understood that achieving the ideal number of squads requires a large budget.

“With the state budget limited, it can only be achieved in the long term, namely the next 25 years,” he said.

At the time

Meanwhile, former Air Force Chief of Staff (KSAU) Marshal (Ret.) Chappy Hakim estimated that the purchase of 42 fighters from Dassault Aviation was timely.

According to him, buying 4.5 generation fighters suitable because the world’s fighter companies now intensively clean their warehouses.

“Now is a good time to buy a plane fighters. All fighter factories on the ground surface truly wash warehouses, or sell their products on sale, ”Chappy said.

Read also: The reason Prabowo bought 42 Rafale fighters, the Indonesian Air Force defense system is too old.

Chappy said that in the last two decades, the designers or manufacturers of advanced fighters are now in two options, continue to develop fighters or switch to a new machine called drone or a plane without you.

On the other hand, Chappy said, the purchase of 42 Rafale aircraft was an Indonesian record in bringing in fighters from abroad.

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Chappy said: The buying process along with the number of 42 advanced fighters broke the record number of fighter purchases in Indonesia’s history after 1965.

In line with the purchase, Chappy stressed that the existence of fighters is one of the subsystems of the air defense system that is an integral part of the national defense system.

Thus, he said, the process of purchasing fighters is essentially an effort to increase the capacity of the national air defense system.

“In this case, the fighter component is once again only one of the other national sub-sub-defense systems,” he stressed.

On the other hand, cooperation in the acquisition of primary weapons system equipment (defense equipment) for the TNI shows that the Indo-Pacific region has strategic value in future geopolitical dynamics.

As a result, the Western bloc countries, namely the United States, Britain, and France, want to participate in the dynamic turmoil of regional geopolitics.

Read also: What emergency does the government buy 42 Rafale planes? Chappy Hakim Suspected 2 Things

In addition, the political temperature in the Indo-Pacific region is heating up, one of which is due to disputes over the South China Sea between China and Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei Darussalam.

Indonesia also has a border area of ​​the South China Sea, namely the North Natuna Sea. There were also tensions in the area because security forces, such as the Navy, often interrupted the activities of Chinese fishing boats.

“Therefore, this acquisition plan cannot be separated from the dynamic context of the regional strategic environment. And Indonesia is considered one of the country’s strategic partners to be able to participate in the region, “said Defense Observer Anton Aliabbas on Monday (14/2/2022).

Prepare the pilot

Although Rafale’s delivery still took a long time, the Indonesian Air Force began squarely to prepare potential pilots for the aircraft with the ability to maneuver a sharp upward movement.

“We have prepared several pilots but we have not determined the number,” Air Force Chief of Staff Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo said at Headquarters, Jakarta, Friday (4/3/2022).

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Fadjar said the preparation of these pilot candidates also includes determining the criteria to be recruited.

It was confirmed that the Indonesian Air Force would appoint soldiers deemed worthy to ride the Rafale.

Rafale pilots will then be trained in France, the country that produces Rafale. In addition to France, this exercise will also be held in the country.

“Our own training will be held in France and at home,” he added.

Not just the latest generation platform

On another occasion, Fadjar said, the Indonesian air force needed to find not only the latest generation platforms in dealing with the threat of the fifth generation war.

According to Fadjar, the goal is for Indonesia to be able to create a national air power capable of facing the challenges of the fifth generation of war.

“For this reason, the Indonesian Air Force really needs to make a transformation in making long-term investments in the technology sector and human-owned intellectual resources,” said Fadjar at a seminar commemorating the 76th anniversary of the Indonesian Air Force of Halim Perdanakusuma. Jakarta, Wednesday (30/30). / 3/2022).

Fadjar said that fifth-generation warfare depends more on the action of non-kinetic forces or without relying on conventional weapons. For example, energy, social and economic chaos, in disinformation.

Read also: What emergency does the government buy 42 Rafale planes? Chappy Hakim Suspected 2 Things

Fadjar said Fadjar said the Indonesian Air Force needed to start taking anticipatory steps to deal with the fifth generation war.

Thus, the acquisition of the latest generation platforms, including Rafale, is also expected to be part of the anticipation steps to face the latest generation of the war.

Governor of the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) Andi Widjajanto said the purchase of 4.5 generation aircraft also needs to underline the ADIS or air defense zone.

“Without thinking about ADIS, we will treat it as a third generation aircraft,” he explained.

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