Indonesia Gives Up Acquiring Dassault Mirage 5s
Indonesian defence minister Prabowo Subianto’s spokesperson, Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, announced the decision which also marks a turning point in the country’s defence strategy.
The reasons behind this postponement have not been officially detailed. However, financial challenges, including difficulty obtaining a foreign loan despite a $734.5 million government guarantee, are speculated to have played a crucial role. These financial constraints are framed in a broader context, where Indonesia has faced similar challenges in programs such as the KF-21 Boramae 4.5 generation fighter, developed in collaboration with Republic of Korea.
The delay in the acquisition of the Mirage 2000-5 fighters must be seen in relation to the broader modernization program of the Indonesian air fleet, where the incorporation of these fighters was contemplated as a temporary bridge until the arrival of the French Rafale from Dassault in 2026. It is important to note that Qatar’s Mirage 5 aircraft are not new, having been used at only 30 per cent of their operational capacity, presenting specific challenges in terms of maintenance and spare parts availability.
The Mirage 2000-5 procurement suspension raises significant questions regarding Indonesia’s air defence strategy. Selecting non-production aircraft such as the Mirage 2000-5 comes with inherent maintenance and logistics challenges, especially in the context of limited spare parts availability.