The Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto has revealed that the 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter aircraft the country purchased from Qatar still have 70% of their flight hours remaining.
“The Mirage 2000-5 has a lifespan of approximately 15 more years [with the Indonesian Air Force], as it has only utilized about 30% of its total flying hours,” Prabowo stated at a press conference held at the Halim Perdanakusuma air base in Jakarta, as reported by Antara News.
The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) had initially acquired the Mirage 2000-5, an air superiority variant of Dassault Aviation’s fighter, in 1998. The fighter jet has a notional airframe life of around 5,000 hours, meaning that the Qatari aircraft have flown 1,500 flight hours on average over their 25 years of service.
Qatar will deliver 9 single-seat and 3 double-seat aircraft to Indonesia for $797 million (€733 million).
Over the last couple of years, Qatar has amassed an impressive fighter fleet backlog, ordering 24 Dassault Rafale fighter jets, 24 Eurofighter Typhoons, and 36 Boeing F-15QA, the latter being a variant specially developed for the QEAF.
From one Dassault fighter to the next
Prabowo reiterated that the acquisition of the 12 Mirage 2000-5 units from Qatar was a stopgap solution to ensure the combat readiness of the Indonesian Air Force, while several existing fighters undergo refurbishment, maintenance and repair. Also, the deliveries of Rafale jets directly ordered from Dassault Aviation are not expected before 2026.
“While waiting for the arrival of the Rafale jets, we are in need of an interim combat fighter that we can immediately utilize,” Prabowo explained.
By 2025, the 12 Mirage 2000-5 units will be operated by the Indonesian Air Force 1st Fighter Squadron at Supadio Air Force Base in Pontianak, on the western coast of the country.
The inclusion of the Mirage will offer Indonesian pilots and technicians the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Dassault aircraft, following their transition from Russian Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 fighters.