Indonesian Air Force pilots and engineers have been sent to France where they will learn to fly and maintain the Dassault Rafale fighter jet.
“We have dispatched six pilots and eight engineers to France to attend the training sessions,” Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo announced on November 8, 2022, as reported by the Indonesian news agency Antara. He added that the training should be completed in three months.
The training will take place at the Dassault Conversion Training Center (CTC) in Mérignac, southwestern France.
In total, Indonesia plans to acquire 42 Dassault Rafale fighter jets to modernize its air force. Currently, the Indonesian Air Force flies a mix of around 50 F-16 A/Bs and C/Ds, along with about 10 Russian Su-27SKM and Su-30 fighters.
An initial contract for the delivery of six French fighters was signed in February 2022 by Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.
The first installment of the payment took place in September 2022, according to La Tribune, officially making Indonesia the Rafale’s seventh export customer after Egypt, Qatar, India, Greece, Croatia and the United Arab Emirates.
After 3 weeks in Australia for #PitchBlack22, 3 Rafale, 2 A330 MRTT Phénix, 1 A400M Atlas and a detachment of 170 personnel landed on Halim Perdanakusuma’s BA in Indonesia for the 1st stop of the #PEGASE mission. pic.twitter.com/Hl8AXxz81r— Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (@Armee_de_lair) September 13, 2022
A loyal customer
The Rafale is not the only Dassault aircraft that the Indonesian Air Force is expecting to receive. It is also preparing to take delivery of a Falcon 7X business jet. The aircraft, currently registered F-HJCP, was previously operated by Dassault Falcon Service, a charter airline and maintenance branch of the manufacturer.
Dassault Falcon 7X milik TNI AU https://t.co/fhwSn0P183 pic.twitter.com/Rx4ZyCQxZO— Indonesia Defence Review (@IndonesiaDefen1) November 4, 2022
The Falcon 7X will reinforce Indonesia’s VIP transport fleet currently composed of one Boeing 737 airliner. VIP transport missions are conducted by the 17th Air Squadron of the Indonesian Air Force, housed at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base.
Indonesia could also receive 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighters from the Qatar Emiri Air Force as a stopgap solution while waiting for the Rafale deliveries, Intelligence Online revealed in October 2022. The fleet was initially supposed to be acquired by the French private contractor ARES to train local naval fighter pilots.