Indonesia is close to acquiring 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar

The threat of imposition of sanctions on Indonesia was the primary motivation behind the country's decision to purchase Western fighter aircraft.

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Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna is a Defence & Aerospace analyst and is the Director of ADD Engineering Components (India) Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany with manufacturing units in Russia. He is Consulting Editor Industry and Defense at Frontier India.

Jakarta has reportedly been covertly negotiating the purchase of twelve Mirage 2000-5EDA aircraft that had formerly served with the Qatari Air Force (QEAF), with the agreement of France. According to the specialised website Intelligence On Line (IOL), the French corporation Défense Conseil International (DCI), which the French government owns more than 50 per cent, is assisting in transferring these aircraft to Indonesia to make it easier for Indonesia to use them.

In October of last year, it was stated that the Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU) would purchase these twelve Mirage 2000-5 aircraft. During that time, Indonesia had just finished the confirmation process for purchasing six initial Rafale aircraft as part of a bigger deal for forty-two units.

The Indonesian news portal Ulasan reports that the Ministry of Finance has approved the acquisition of these Mirage 2000-5 aircraft and that delivery is planned for 2023. The news organisation also notes that in 2009, Qatar offered Jakarta the opportunity to purchase these planes, but Jakarta declined the offer. Juwono Sudarsono, serving as Indonesia’s Minister of Defence, refused the offer. Although the purchase price was within the country’s financial means, it could not cover the aircraft’s running expenses.

IOL reports that initial preparations have been made to deliver the Qatari Mirage 2000-5 aircraft to Indonesia. Once the country has successfully integrated their brand-new Rafale combat aircraft, likely, the TNI-AU will communicate concerning this topic, says the report.

The purchase of this fighter aircraft represents a significant saving for Indonesia. Although not all of the Mirage 2000-5 aircraft in the QEAFs can perform air-to-air refuelling, these planes still offer considerable potential because they have a very low number of flight hours. In addition, they will make it possible for the TNI-AU to speed up the retirement of its ageing F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft.  

Indonesia also operates 2xSu-27SK, 3xSu-27SKM, 2XSu-30MK and 9xSu-30MK2 of Russian origin. 

Indonesia was forced to scrap its proposal to purchase the Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E because of the threat of economic sanctions from the United States. In 2015, the nation decided to purchase the Russian twin-engine, single-seat fighter; however, following negotiations with Russia in 2018, the country did not sign a contract to purchase 11 aircraft.

The threat of imposition of sanctions on Indonesia was the primary motivation behind the country’s decision to purchase Western fighter aircraft.

In 1994, the Qatar Emiri Air Force placed an order with the French manufacturer Dassault for twelve Mirage 2000-5 fighters. The Qatar Emiri Air Force received the first aircraft three years later. They were manufactured between 1997 and 1998. These aircraft had been put into storage by the middle of the twenty-first century, with the majority of their remaining service life intact, and they were made available for purchase. They were offered to Pakistan and India, but neither country seemed interested in pursuing them. In addition to Indonesia, Bulgaria has communicated a desire to investigate the possibility of buying these aircraft in 2022.

According to Agence France-Presse, on March 25, 2011, two fighter aircraft from the Qatar Air Force took part in the military operation being carried out by the international coalition in Libya for the first time.

According to an announcement made on the French Ministry of Defence website, the maiden flight of the “Mirage” fighter aircraft from Qatar was undertaken in coordination with French military aircraft. According to the notification made by the ministry, the country of Qatar was the very first Arab League member to take part in the international action against Libya. According to Agence France-Presse, the Qatari fighter aircraft is the “Mirage 2000-5.” It was reported that they took off from the Greek Air Force base on the island of Crete. Qatar made public its intention to join the international coalition against Libya not long after the operation had begun. 

UAE’s Mirage 2000-9’s were considered?

In May 2018, Admiral Yudo Margono, Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces, flew to the United Arab Emirates at the invitation of General Issa Al Mazrouei, his Emirati counterpart. Admiral Yudo Margono conferred with senior authorities from both countries during this visit. The primary purpose of this visit was to strengthen Jakarta and Abu Dhabi’s ties in terms of their ability to work together militarily. 

During his time in the UAE, Admiral Margono had the opportunity to fly in one of the sixty Mirage 2000-9 aircraft currently in service with the Emirati Air Force. Consequently, reports started to spread that  TNI-AU might buy many of these aircraft. On the other hand, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence quickly issued a statement denying the integrity of this information.


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