Indonesia and US aircraft manufacturer Boeing have agreed on a deal for the sale of two dozen F-15EX fighter jets as Southeast Asia’s biggest economy moves to modernize its fleet, Jakarta’s defense minister said Tuesday.
Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) committing to the sale on Monday between Indonesian airforce and Boeing officials at the company’s St Louis facility.
“MoU signing commitment to purchase 24 F-15EX Fighter Aircraft Units,” Subianto wrote on Instagram under an image of him witnessing the deal’s signing.
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Boeing said in a statement Monday the deal would “put Indonesia at the top of air dominance capabilities.”
The F-15EX is the most advanced version of the fighter jet and the F-15 is only used by more than half a dozen countries globally.
Jakarta currently owns US-made F-16 jets and aging Russian Sukhoi jets. Last year it agreed to buy 42 French-made Rafale fighter jets in an $8.1 billion deal.
The latest F-15 sale — of which neither side has disclosed the value — is still subject to US government approval.
It comes after Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin visited Jakarta in November for negotiations over the deal.
Austin said he hoped Indonesia would proceed with the sale, saying it would increase interoperability with American forces and complement Jakarta’s contingent of F-16 jets.
Last year thousands of Indonesian and US troops held joint military drills as Washington and its allies expressed growing concern about China’s increasing assertiveness in the Pacific.
The exercise in Indonesia known as “Super Garuda Shield” came after Beijing staged unprecedented war games around Taiwan, which it claims as part of its territory.
At least 4,000 American and Indonesian soldiers were joined in the two-week exercise by forces from Australia and Singapore — as well as Japan, which participated in the drills for the first time.
Washington said the drills were not aimed at any particular country.