Air-Force Indonesia Wants F-35 Jets, But US Pushing F-16s or F/A-18s Instead

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Indonesia Wants F-35 Jets, But US Pushing F-16s or F/A-18s Instead

Indonesia's F-16 C fighter jet

The United States has rejected an Indonesian proposal to purchase F-35 jets and instead wants Jakarta to buy F-16 Block 72 aircraft or another equivalent American-built fighter.
Jakarta’s insistence on the F-35 may be a ploy for Washington to reject the proposal so that Jakarta may proceed with the Sukhoi Su-35 procurement for which a deal has already been signed in 2018.

The US decision was communicated when Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto visited Washington on October 15, 2020. Prabowo was told that the F-35 has a waiting list of nine years and in the interim period it should acquire 4.5 generation jet such as the F-16s; according to the Indonesian Ambassador to the US, Muhammad Lutfi who briefed Indonesian media about bilateral discussions during Subianto’s US visit.
Speaking during a virtual press conference on November 2, Lutfi has been quoted as saying by CNN Indonesia "So there are platforms we have to work on to get this F-35. We have to have the 4th generation and the 4.5th generation, we have to have the F-16 block c 72 fighters this is the latest fighter before we get the F-35," he has been quoted as saying.
In a discussion held when Prabowo Subianto visited the US, Indonesia was offered “another fighter aircraft equivalent to the fourth generation F series,” the ambassador said.
The “equivalent fighter” jet to the F-16 could only be the F/A-18 Super Hornet of Boeing which the US company has been trying to find a market in other Asian countries such as India and is a contender for fighter replacement programs in Finland and Switzerland.
Indonesian Deputy Defense Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono has earlier said that the Defense Ministry under Prabowo's leadership began targeting US-made F-35 fighter jets as an alternative to the Russian Su-35 which has been reportedly abandoned due to pressure from Washington.

Indonesia Wants F-35 Jets, But US Pushing F-16s or F/A-18s Instead

US Def Sec Mark Esper with Indonesian Def Min Prabowo Subianto: Pentagon photo

However, now with fresh political winds blowing in Washington and the Countering American Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CATSAA) not imposed anywhere in the world, Jakarta may be emboldened to re-kindle its Su-35 sale. The price of which at half of that of the F-35, that too with a significant barter trade option thrown in, may be hard to resist.

Russian sources have steadfastly maintained that the Su-35 deal is on track; even rejecting a 2019 Bloomberg report that the Su-35 deal had been abandoned as the US threatened Jakarta with CATSAA. Under this controversial US law, sanctions may be imposed on countries that have significant defence trade relations with Moscow.
Indonesia may be worried that if it plays its fighter jet card the wrong way, it may jeopardize its lucrative trade with the US. According to data from the US Trade Representative, Indonesia imported goods worth $7.7 billion from the US while exports to the US totaled $20.1 billion in 2019. The US goods trade deficit with Indonesia was $12.4 billion in 2019.

The Trump administration has been elbowing countries, which have significant trade deficit with the US, to make up the difference by buying American weapons like it did with Japan which ordered over 100 F-35 jets.

Indonesia Wants F-35 Jets, But US Pushing F-16s or F/A-18s Instead

Russian Su-35 jet

 

Gary

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The United States has rejected an Indonesian proposal to purchase F-35 jets and instead wants Jakarta to buy F-16 Block 72 aircraft or another equivalent American-built fighter.

an F-15EX would be a perfect candidate for the Air Force, even so more than Su-35s, Typhoons, Rafales
it has the range for country as big as Indonesia, the loadout, the avionics and above all the PW F100 engine, which the Air Force is already very familiar with.

F-15EX offer to India brings Pratt & Whitney engines to focus in India


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this while we wait for an eventual F-35 approval from the US, when the F-35s come, it could be paired the way the US air force envisioned what an F-35 and and Advanced Eagle team would be.

In one possible air-to-air combat scenario, Advanced Eagles would operate with their newer counterparts to rapidly identify and take down larger enemy air fleets. The easier-to-detect and more vulnerable F-15s would hang back, quickly darting forward to launch their missiles at targets identified by F-22s and F-35s. Once their missiles are exhausted the F-15s would turn and head home and the F-22s and F-35s would then use their own built-in armament to continue the fight.

The Next Generation F-15 Is Packed With Missiles

Under Skyborg program, F-35 and F-15EX jets could control drone sidekicks


another aspect we need to think about is the political aspect, like it or not, Jakarta must accept that there's no way it could face off a China turn rogue alone, it'll need alliance, the US is I believe the only country right now able to stand toe to toe with China, and actually win.

A common TNI-AU infrastructure with US and it's regional allies would benefit the TNI-AU overall readiness. Despite the recent rhetoric of US de-industrialization, the US remain the world top (outside China) machinery producers, that includes spares for jets etc, having a Russian jets in the inventory is a disaster in waiting.

Seriously Jakarta need to move on from the weapons embargo scare of of the last decade and move on.
 
E

ekemenirtu

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Are you seriously expecting to receive F-35 fighter aircrafts?

Doesn't make any bit of sense.

Secondly, why would the USA align with Indonesia? At best, they would use you and dump you.

They have far more valuable, trusted allies in the region with a history of long term and stable relationships.

It appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking from you. Indonesian procurement process is also rather haphazard. For such a big country in landmass and population to be weaker than a tiny country like Singapore is a great shame, I believe.

Singapore easily surpasses Indonesian or any ASEAN countries' military capabilities, at least on paper, since Singapore remains inherently vulnerable and since they haven't fought a real war against another country on their own. Not yet.

Indonesia should be content playing second fiddle to Australia. With its haphazard procurement process and no well defined long term defense policy or defense white paper, Indonesia will be hard pressed to develop a competent counter to a rising Chinese behemoth.
 

Gary

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Are you seriously expecting to receive F-35 fighter aircrafts?

Doesn't make any bit of sense.

Secondly, why would the USA align with Indonesia? At best, they would use you and dump you.

They have far more valuable, trusted allies in the region with a history of long term and stable relationships.

It appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking from you. Indonesian procurement process is also rather haphazard. For such a big country in landmass and population to be weaker than a tiny country like Singapore is a great shame, I believe.

Singapore easily surpasses Indonesian or any ASEAN countries' military capabilities, at least on paper, since Singapore remains inherently vulnerable and since they haven't fought a real war against another country on their own. Not yet.

Indonesia should be content playing second fiddle to Australia. With its haphazard procurement process
This because after the 1965 communist purge, the ABRI (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia, old name for TNI) which is army dominated are more into an inward oriented armies, after 1965 the main enemy of Indonesia is no longer the Malaysian's, Australians,British, Dutch etc. But it's own population, you don't need fast jets for population control, Indonesia has a big plan to expand the Air force by buying at least 60+ F-16 jets (some are from cancelled Pakistani orders) in the 90s, but then the US embargo as a result of the Santa Cruz massacred came and not long after the 1997 economic and political crisis followed suit.

The rise of China should be a wake up call to Indonesian Armed Forces re orientation towards an outward threat looking armies.
 

Gary

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Are you seriously expecting to receive F-35 fighter aircrafts?

Doesn't make any bit of sense.
in the 2000s we would never think of having a fleet of advanced Apache's in our Army inventories.
+ the Ameicans itself said that we could buy F-35 jets, only after we operate advanced variant of Vipers.

The US decision was communicated when Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto visited Washington on October 15, 2020. Prabowo was told that the F-35 has a waiting list of nine years and in the interim period it should acquire 4.5 generation jet such as the F-16s; according to the Indonesian Ambassador to the US, Muhammad Lutfi who briefed Indonesian media about bilateral discussions during Subianto’s US visit.
Secondly, why would the USA align with Indonesia? At best, they would use you and dump you.

They have far more valuable, trusted allies in the region with a history of long term and stable relationships.
Because it's their interest, and it's them who wanted bases here.

Indonesia rejected US request to host spy planes

 
E

ekemenirtu

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in the 2000s we would never think of having a fleet of advanced Apache's in our Army inventories.
+ the Ameicans itself said that we could buy F-35 jets, only after we operate advanced variant of Vipers.



Because it's their interest, and it's them who wanted bases here.

Indonesia rejected US request to host spy planes


They don't need Indonesia for that.

Philippines suits them just fine. There is Vietnam. Japan. Korea. Singapore. Australia.

Indonesia will never be a better ally for the US than any of those countries.

F-35 is off limits. That's just a bargaining tactic. They cancelled Turkish F-35 deliveries despite payments and commitment to the project for over a decade.

Indonesian commitment, participation, interest in the project is nil in comparison to that of Turkey. Why would they hand out F-35 to Indonesia?

They want you to buy outdated 4th gen fighters to increase sales and to generate employment. Otherwise those production lines will close without orders.

No F-35 for Indonesia.

If Turkey could not obtain F-35 fighters despite its status as a NATO member, despite earlier commitments, despite payment and workshare in F-35 fighter jet production, why would Indonesia get any F-35?

Makes no sense.
 

Gary

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They don't need Indonesia for that.

Philippines suits them just fine. There is Vietnam. Japan. Korea. Singapore. Australia.
if you followed the latest news from our neighbors the Philippines then you'll find this.
Apparently you missed some news.

Philippines gives China-backed telecom firm green light to build cell towers on military bases

Philippine military boss says China telecoms spy risk 'very low'

Duterte admits being ‘inutile’ in asserting rights in the South China Sea

Duterte aligns Philippines with China, says U.S. has lost

Philippines' Duterte tells US he is scrapping troop agreement

PH Navy chief Bacordo: ‘More tense’ situation in West Philippine Sea due to ‘quad’ countries


you cant really count on the Philippines while a known Pro China is in power.
also just imagine for a second you're the US, now engaged in a fierce rivalry with China, why restrict yourself to the Philippines and Singapore if you can have Indonesia, the de facto leader of ASEAN???

US long range missile battery in the Natuna would complete the encirclement of China in the first island chain.

40-0.jpg


Indonesia will never be a better ally for the US than any of those countries.
people tend to forget that the greatest losses of the US against communism is in Vietnam while it's best win against communism is in Indonesia.
EdsYNoEUcAIhWd2.jpg:large



F-35 is off limits. That's just a bargaining tactic. They cancelled Turkish F-35 deliveries despite payments and commitment to the project for over a decade.

Indonesian commitment, participation, interest in the project is nil in comparison to that of Turkey. Why would they hand out F-35 to Indonesia?

They want you to buy outdated 4th gen fighters to increase sales and to generate employment. Otherwise those production lines will close without orders.

No F-35 for Indonesia.

If Turkey could not obtain F-35 fighters despite its status as a NATO member, despite earlier commitments, despite payment and workshare in F-35 fighter jet production, why would Indonesia get any F-35?

Makes no sense.

there's where politics will came in.

even if we failed to get our hand on the f-35s, the US 4th gen offer is still superior than the SU-35s we're longing for.
 
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Gundala

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the Ameicans itself said that we could buy F-35 jets, only after we operate advanced variant of Vipers.
To be honest Im kinda doubt about it as well, I smell a sweet talk. Regardless, perhaps by having the opportunity to get them in the next 10 years it would be more beneficial to us as hopefully our NCW systems already mature enough by then.

Tho I do believe if we can maintain stable domestic politics the chances of getting it will be greater. And while we wait get that dang FIR back from Sing. This plan has been going on since SBY era and this second of JKW we still unable to do it. :mad:
 

Rajendra Chola

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The report said F35 has a wait time of 9 years. US never said no to Indonesia on this. Infact it would be of US interest to have F35 equipped INAF. So if INAF is prepared to wait like 10-12 years for F35, it's a good deal. Or else even if F15 ex is chosen as a stop gap like 36 or 48 it's still a better deal.

Turkish members crying against US betrayal has only themselves to blame on this. Despite being a NATO member, trying to order S400 and having them hosted on their land and on the other hand, wanting F35 is not going to work. I have seen matured members slam the current Foreign policy decisions of the govt in this case.
 

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I personally think that while yes, the US doesn't trust Indonesia with F-35s yet due to our history of being friendly with and buying weapons from Russia and China, they are certainly seeing us as a possible "reliable regional partner" and they are serious about that.

So, they offered us the Ospreys, Vipers, and SHornets instead. Things that would help us defend ourselves but not too problematic for them to counter if we were to (theoretically) backstab them in the future. That, in addition to the IF-X in the near future, would mean that the Indonesian AF would now be practically exclusively armed with western weaponry. That is possibly a way for the US to gauge how commited Indonesia is with aligning with the US instead of Russia/China in regional issues/conflicts.

Once that happens for several years, then they can be assured that Indonesia will not backstab the US and its regional partners if there were to be a conflict in the future. They'd then know that it is safe to give us the F-35s or other top of the line weaponry from their arsenal.

Personally anyone saying that countries like the Philippines under Duterte is more valuable to them for a future conflict is dreaming. Indonesia has THE highest ceiling in ASEAN when it comes to strategic location, possible military and economic power, etc. Underestimating us just because Singapore has fancier toys (does not necessarily mean stronger as a whole package) is foolish. And the US (and China, Russia, EU, etc. for that matter) are no fools.
 

Sycarion

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I believe the operative term here is "possible", as in "conditional"
Of course it is conditional. There is no free lunch. If we want them to give us their best toys, we have to show them that they can trust and rely on us when they need it. If not, they will only ever treat us as a 2nd class customer.

Even China or Russia will expect us to be their ally to some degree if we ask them to sell us their top tier toys.
 
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joedhie2k

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Osprey and other Boeing product are pushed by Jared because he gets a fee for any transaction deal. He is the Boeing lobbyist.

This bluff is countered by Prabowo by asking F-35.. there is no way TNI can afford the maintenance scheme of F-35

nothing will happen here.. move along
 

Ryder

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The report said F35 has a wait time of 9 years. US never said no to Indonesia on this. Infact it would be of US interest to have F35 equipped INAF. So if INAF is prepared to wait like 10-12 years for F35, it's a good deal. Or else even if F15 ex is chosen as a stop gap like 36 or 48 it's still a better deal.

Turkish members crying against US betrayal has only themselves to blame on this. Despite being a NATO member, trying to order S400 and having them hosted on their land and on the other hand, wanting F35 is not going to work. I have seen matured members slam the current Foreign policy decisions of the govt in this case.

Lmaoo somebody does not know the whole f35/s400 issue is more than just planes and missiles.

Congress was shadow blocking Turkey for two years not to mention israel kept on lobbying so our f35s get taken away also how we oppose a pkk state being built on our backyard.

Since Turkey is not being the USA's b*tch so they took our F35s away.

Even if we got the F35s they would have found some other excuse and with hold maintence or parts.

The s400 is just an excuse. Uae buys lots of russian and chinese weapons even operates NK missiles now its going to get F35s and predator drones.
 
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Saithan

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if you followed the latest news from our neighbors the Philippines then you'll find this.
Apparently you missed some news.

Philippines gives China-backed telecom firm green light to build cell towers on military bases

Philippine military boss says China telecoms spy risk 'very low'

Duterte admits being ‘inutile’ in asserting rights in the South China Sea

Duterte aligns Philippines with China, says U.S. has lost

Philippines' Duterte tells US he is scrapping troop agreement

PH Navy chief Bacordo: ‘More tense’ situation in West Philippine Sea due to ‘quad’ countries


you cant really count on the Philippines while a known Pro China is in power.
also just imagine for a second you're the US, now engaged in a fierce rivalry with China, why restrict yourself to the Philippines and Singapore if you can have Indonesia, the de facto leader of ASEAN???

US long range missile battery in the Natuna would complete the encirclement of China in the first island chain.

40-0.jpg



people tend to forget that the greatest losses of the US against communism is in Vietnam while it's best win against communism is in Indonesia.
EdsYNoEUcAIhWd2.jpg:large





there's where politics will came in.

even if we failed to get our hand on the f-35s, the US 4th gen offer is still superior than the SU-35s we're longing for.
Some of those articles regarding Philippines are old. Duterte recently extended/postponed the cancellation of the deal with US.

Also there were an article about the US going to use former US naval base in Philippines again. The place where China wanted to build something else (thereby destroying a perfect naval base).
 

Gary

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Some of those articles regarding Philippines are old. Duterte recently extended/postponed the cancellation of the deal with US.

Also there were an article about the US going to use former US naval base in Philippines again. The place where China wanted to build something else (thereby destroying a perfect naval base).
but I think it's enough for the US to think twice if they were to rely on Manila.
 

Saithan

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but I think it's enough for the US to think twice if they were to rely on Manila.
Philippines is more Americanized nation than rest of Asia, so the hardline of Duterte won’t last. Plus he himself has realized that he nor Philippines can retain what legally is theirs without US support.

Duterte has a lot to deal with domestically, so he’d have to rely on US to even try to keep what’s theirs on spratley islands. But Philippines would be forced to establish presence there, in the meatgrinder, and struggle, and the US would keep them there, struggling.

No other country is going to help Philippines, because the nation is quite poor, thanks to all that corruption.
 

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