Negotiations on the possibility of supplying Indonesia with French Rafale fighters
On the air of the French TV channel BFM Business in the news issue "Grand Journal de l'Eco" on December 3, 2020, the Minister of the Armed Forces of France, Florence Parley, announced the possibility of concluding a contract for the supply of 36 Dassault Rafale fighters to Indonesia, and that negotiations on this issue "made significant progress" ... Fighter Dassault Rafale B of the French Air Force during a demonstration in Indonesia. Jakarta, 21.08.2018 (c) Garry Andrew Lotulung / kompas.com
“If this order comes true, it will be of great help for the 500 French companies involved in the Rafale program. When we mention Rafale, we are thinking about the Dassault group of companies, and there are many companies involved in the production chain, 7000 people will be employed in the execution of the order within 18 months, which is a lot, ”said French Minister of the Armed Forces Flores Parly.
Florence Parley recalled that the French Ministry of Armed Forces has used considerable resources "to support enterprises, often very small", directly or indirectly cooperating under the Rafale program, "in total, this is 200 thousand jobs at 4 thousand enterprises," the minister said.
Thus, the minister partially confirmed the information published a little earlier on the website of the newspaper "La Tribune", according to which Indonesia would like to urgently conclude an agreement for the purchase of 48 Rafale fighters.
In addition, Paris and Jakarta intend to sign an agreement on cooperation in the field of defense, the website "La Tribune" reports, citing several confirming sources. The Indonesians "would like to act very quickly and reach an agreement before the end of the year, while the French negotiators would like to spend some more time working out the terms of the agreement in detail."
The issue was raised at the end of October 2020 during a visit to Paris by Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, who, according to La Tribune, confirmed Jakarta's “keen interest” in buying Rafale aircraft.
Negotiations with Greece, Finland and Switzerland
Florence Parley added that “we are negotiating with several countries at once” on the sale of Rafale aircraft: “Greece, Finland, Switzerland are countries wishing to renew their military aircraft, and therefore tenders for the purchase of aircraft have already been announced there which, quite possibly, will be implemented next year ”.
Rafale Aircraft Manufacturing Challenge
France needs to produce Rafale aircraft for the French Air Force to replace 12 used aircraft sold to Greece from the French Air Force, that is, in parallel with the manufacture of aircraft to order for Indonesia, another 12 Rafale aircraft must be manufactured for domestic needs.
“We have to think through different scenarios to meet the needs of our customers, not forgetting to take into account the needs of the French Air Force,” explained the minister.
It is clear from the minister's words that the French armed forces will remain a priority customer. “My responsibility and my duty, of course, is to provide the French Air Force with everything it needs, so that we will adhere to the obligations provided by the law on military programs, namely, the purchase of more Rafale for the Air Force in the next few years, - Florence Parley emphasized.
For its part, the Dassault group did not comment on this information.