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Indonesia Shelves Mirage Fighter Jet Procurement

The Indonesian government has shelved its planned procurement of 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets previously owned by Qatar due to budget constraints.

A defense ministry spokesperson told local media outlet TV One that neither the Indonesian Defense Ministry nor the country’s Ministry of Finance can financially support the controversial acquisition “for the time being.”

He added that the military will just opt to retrofit its Sukhoi and F-16 combat jets to fill current capability gaps.

The spokesperson did not say when the Indonesian government will proceed with the acquisition.

The Plan

In June 2023, Jakarta announced plans to turn to surplus combat aircraft and engines to fill a hole in its frontline air defenses.

The Mirages were supposed to replace the country’s F-5 supersonic light fighter jets, which were decommissioned 18 years ago.

They were also supposed to serve as an interim solution as Indonesia awaits the first delivery of Rafale fighter jets it ordered from France.

According to the Indonesian defense ministry, the country needs more fighter jets to protect its territories amid rising tensions in the South China Sea.

Some of the combat jets in its inventory reportedly need upgrades or repairs.


Indonesia’s decision to buy secondhand aircraft has been criticized by some lawmakers, saying the fighter jets are already old.

The Qatari Air Force obtained the Mirage 2000-5s in 1998 and used them to support various missions over a span of two decades.

The Indonesian defense ministry said the 12 Mirages to be procured still have 70 percent of their flying hours remaining and could still serve the Indonesian Air Force for the next 15 years.

But a Defence Security Asia report claimed that fighter jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation typically have a lifespan of 5,000 flight hours.

If the defense ministry statement were true, the report argued that it would mean Qatar only used around 1,500 flight hours over 25 years.

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