Indonesia scrap plans to buy Mirage fighter jets from Qatar


JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has abandoned a controversial plan to buy 733 million euros ($790 million) worth of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets previously used by Qatar, a defense ministry spokesman said late on Saturday.

“There is no procurement of Mirage jets. Although it was planned, it has been cancelled… meaning there is no active contract,” spokesman Dahnil Anjar Simanjuntak said in a statement.

Last month, the ministry had said the deal to procure 12 fighter jets had been delayed due to financial constraints and the army would instead order retrofitting of its existing Sukhoi and F-16 aircraft.

The planned purchase sparked controversy when it was announced last year, as lawmakers said the secondhand jets were old.

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Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, a strong contender for victory in Indonesia’s presidential election to be held on February 14, has been criticized by rival candidates for the deal during the election campaign.

But he defended the purchase during a presidential debate, saying the secondhand jets are still good for the next 15 years and are needed while the country waits for its new jets to arrive.

Prabowo has overseen the army’s efforts to modernize its aging fleet, including the purchase of Rafale fighter jets, drones from Turkish Aerospace and fighter jets and transport helicopters from US companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

(Reporting by Anand Teresia; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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