Austria agreed to sell the troubled 15 Typhoon fighters to Indonesia
VIENNA, (BM) – Austrian Defense Minister Claudia Tanner responded positively to the letter with the proposal of Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to sell 15 EF-2000 Typhoon fighters available to the Austrian Air Force, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to our sources, Austria is ready to cooperate with the Indonesian leadership in the framework of this project and will hold all the necessary negotiations with the participants of the Eurofighter program to approve the potential sale of aircraft.
On July 10 this year, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto sent his Austrian counterpart Claudia Tanner a letter with a proposal to purchase 15 EF-2000 Typhoon fighters by Jakarta. He announced his “understanding” of the difficulties faced by Austria in the operation of these aircraft due to the corruption investigation, and their sale to Indonesia, in his opinion, opens up opportunities for both sides “to solve their own problems.” Thus, the Indonesian minister officially proposed to start negotiations on the sale of used cars.
Vienna previously announced that the decommissioning of these fighters would begin this year. It is planned to replace them with other types of aircraft [options for purchasing JAS-39 Gripen or F-16 Fighting Falcon are being considered].
As a reminder, back in February 2018, Russia and Indonesia signed a contract for the supply of 11 Su-35 fighters worth $ 1.1 billion. But the further implementation of the deal stalled due to pressure from Washington, which threatened Jakarta with possible sanctions in the event of the acquisition of Russian aircraft. In March of this year, it was reported that the Donald Trump administration still forced Indonesia to abandon the deal with Russia.
In turn, the Munich prosecutor’s office in February 2018 completed an investigation of the case on charges of corruption by Airbus Defense & Space in the sale of EF-2000 Typhoon fighters to Austria in 2003. Because of this scandal, Austria announced plans from 2020 to phase out the operation of a fleet of 15 fighters of this type.
There was a possibility that Indonesia would buy a Russian Su-35. There was a possibility of an interesting aerial hybrid
While Indonesia was interested in the Su-35, which would provide it with one of the most modern and heaviest air superiority fighters in Southeast Asia, the country has faced two key problems with acquiring the platform.
The first was the threat of economic sanctions from the United States.
A second impediment to the purchase are concerns that acquiring the Su-35 will impede Indonesian efforts to conduct network centric operations built around its predominantly Western hardware [F-16 – ed].
The Su-35, and older Su-27 and Su-30 jets already in Indonesian service, cannot share data and are not optimised to operate alongside F-16 fighters or the country’s European built warships.
This issue could potentially be offset, however, if the country is able to integrate Western avionics onto its fighters – much as Algeria has with its Su-30MKA. While Russia has not in the past given permission for such moves by Su-35 clients, it could potentially provide a means to ensure the sale to Indonesia is successful.
While the Indonesian Air Force initially showed an interest in acquiring just 11 Su-35 fighters, further purchases are likely if the performance of the first batch is satisfactory.
Rosoboronexport, Russia’s prime arms exporter, stated to this effect: “Russia can supply Indonesia with the latest Su-35 multipurpose fighters, adapting them as much as possible to the needs of the customer. We are sure that this is the best choice for increasing the combat effectiveness of the Indonesian Air Force.”
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