Indonesia on June 14, 2023 confirmed the purchase of 12 2hand Mirage 2000 fighters from Qatar in a deal worth 733 million euros ($793 million).

Jakarta explains the deal is a quick way for the Southeast Asian country to upgrade its air force. The fighters are expected to be delivered within 24 months.

Of the 12 aircraft, there are 9 single-seat versions and three two-seat versions. After the announcement, there were mixed opinions around the deal. The defence ministry attributes the decision to filling a capability gap in Indonesia’s air force, and confirmed the previously unnannounced deal in response to lawmakers’ concerns about the age of the Mirages.

Qatar operates 12 Mirage 2000-5s with an average age of 25.1 years. Indonesia’s air force operates 79 aircraft in combat roles, with an average aircraft age of 23 years. The mainstay of this fleet are 25 Lockheed Martin F-16A/Cs, some of which have received airframe and avionics upgrades. The average age of the F-16 fleet is 36.2 years. Jakarta also operates five Sukhoi Su-27s and 11 Su-30MK2s, the average age of which is 13.8 years. The rest of its combat fleet caters to the ground attack mission, comprising 23 BAE Systems Hawk 209s, and 15 Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano turboprops.

In February 2022, Jakarta placed an order for 42 Dassault Rafales, with deliveries to commence in 2026. Indonesia could also obtain the Boeing F-15ID, the local designation for the F-15EX. In February 2022, shortly after Jakarta announced the Rafale deal, the US government cleared the possible sale of 36 F-15IDs to Indonesia for $13.9 billion.

Jakarta had long been interested in obtaining the Su-35 but balked on concerns about US sanctions being imposed should it acquire Russian equipment. Indonesia is also the junior partner in the Korea Aerospace Industries KF-21/I-FX programme. Ultimately, Indonesia could operate 50 examples of the South Korean type.

Mirage-2000 is a single-engine 4th generation jet fighter designed and developed by Dassault Aviation Group (France). Mirage 2000 has quite outdated technology. This aircraft made its first flight in 1978 and to date about 600 units have been produced. Production of the Mirage 2000 was stopped in 2007.

Mirage 2000 has nine hard points for carrying weapon system payloads: five on the fuselage and two on each wing. The single-seat version Mirage 2000C is armed with two internally mounted, high-firing-rate 30mm guns. Air-to-air weapons include the MICA air-to-air missiles, and the Magic 2 missiles, both from MBDA. MICA supports a maximum operating range of 60km.

The Mirage-2000 is considered one of the most successful French multirole fighters. The fighter has been deployed in multiple operations to carry out Surgical Strikes thanks to its load-carrying capacity, precision, Laser Guided Bombs and latest technology updates. Most notably, the Mirage was deployed during the 1999 Kargil War and during the Balakote surgical strike in 2019. Air Marshal B S Dhanoa, who was the commanding officer of the 17 Squadron at the time of the war, at the event, said deploying Mirage 2000 jets and air support to ground forces had turned the tide of the 1999 war in favour of India.


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