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Indonesia gets US nod for F-15 Eagle variant hours after signing up for French Rafale

Indonesia F-15ID
Illustration: US Air Force file photo of an F-15EX Eagle during exercise Northern Edge 21.

Indonesia was cleared by the US State Department to buy a variant of Boeing’s F-15 Eagle fighter on the same day it signed a deal with France for the purchase of Dassault Aviation-built Rafale aircraft.

According to a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announcement, Indonesia received green light to buy F-15ID aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $13.9 billion.

The DSCA announcement does not mean that the sale has been concluded, or that it will be concluded, signaling only US approval for a possible foreign military sale, pending negotiations.

According to DSCA, Indonesia requested to buy up to 36 F-15ID aircraft, as well as engines, radars, targeting pods and weapons. Also included in the approval are Joint Mission Planning Systems, night vision goggles, conformal fuel tanks, and chaff and flares, among other items.

While it is certainly a result of lengthy administrative procedures, the US State Department announcement coincided with the signing of a February 10 contract between Indonesia and France for up to 42 Rafale fighters and possibly two Scorpene submarines.

Considering the fact that Indonesia evaluated a range of potential successor to its F-5E/F Tiger fighter aircraft in a process that spanned years, it is unlikely the country will now proceed to order the F-15ID in addition to the Rafale. Prior to settling for the French airframe, Indonesia expressed interest in purchasing second-hand Austrian Eurofighters, Russian Su-35s, as well as US F-16 jets.