Indonesia Strengthens Air Defense with Acquisition of Mirage 2000-5 Fighter Jets from Qatar and Eyes UAE’s Fleet

The Indonesian Air Force has taken significant steps to bolster its air defense capabilities by acquiring 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from the Qatar Air Force. This move comes as part of Indonesia’s ongoing efforts to upgrade its military forces, known as the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) initiative, to safeguard its vast archipelago.

In addition to the recent deal with Qatar, the Indonesian government has expressed interest in acquiring dozens more Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The MEF program aims to modernize Indonesia’s primary weaponry system, and the acquisition of additional fighter jets is an integral part of this strategy.

Earlier this year, Indonesia signed a contract with Dassault Aviation, a French aircraft manufacturer, to purchase 42 units of the fourth-and-a-half-generation Rafale fighter jets. The contract, worth approximately USD 8.1 billion, will see the first batch of jets arriving in 2026, significantly enhancing Indonesia’s air defense capabilities.

Indonesia’s existing fleet of fighter jets, including F-5 Tiger, Sukhoi Su-27, and Su-30, among others, is also undergoing refurbishment and upgrades to maintain operational effectiveness. With an average age of 20-30 years for its fighter aircraft, the country is keen on ensuring a seamless transition to more advanced systems.

The Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets acquired from Qatar are expected to be fully operational within the next 24 months. This interim solution will allow Indonesia to strengthen its air defense capabilities while awaiting the delivery of the more advanced Rafale jets. The decision to acquire the Mirage 2000-5, a product of the same manufacturer as the Rafale, aims to familiarize Indonesian pilots with French-made aircraft and technology.

Moreover, Indonesia is exploring the possibility of acquiring Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets from the UAE. The UAE has expressed its willingness to consider the sale, as their Mirage 2000-9 fleet is set to be replaced by 80 Rafale jets and other advanced fighter aircraft. The negotiation process is underway, and the long-standing good relations between the two countries may facilitate a successful deal.

As Indonesia continues to strengthen its air defense capabilities, these acquisitions will play a crucial role in safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty and maintaining security in its vast and diverse territorial expanse.