Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto has written to his Austrian counterpart, Klaudia Tanner, expressing an interest in acquiring Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighter aircraft from the latter. The Austrian Air Force operates a fleet of 15 Typhoons, which achieved operational capability in mid-2008.
“To achieve my target to modernising [sic] the Indonesian Air Force, I would, therefore, like to propose to enter into official deliberations with you, your excellency, on purchasing all 15 Eurofighter Typhoon from Austria for the air force of the Republic of Indonesia,” said Prabowo in his letter dated 10 July.
In the letter, a copy of which was sent electronically to Janes on 19 July, the Indonesian defence minister also alluded to apparent service issues faced by the Austrian Air Force on its Typhoons.
Austria retired its entire fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons this year, as part of the decision taken in 2017. The central European nation hopes to create a more effective and cost-effective solution to its defense system, says Defense News.
Indonesia’s interest in the fleet comes two weeks after the surprise announcement that the U.S. State Department cleared the country to buy the Bell-Boeing MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
Indonesia has been seeking a fighter aircraft to serve alongside its fleet of 23 refurbished early-block Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon jets. These are all former aircraft operated by the U.S. Air National Guard, and were delivered from 2014 onward.
The decision to seek the Austrian Typhoons, which are all Tranche 1 aircraft configured primarily for air defense missions, is a blow to Russian aspirations to sell the Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker interceptor to Indonesia.