BONSERNEWS.com – DPR Commission I member TB Hasanuddin criticized Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s decision to buy a squadron or 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar at a cost of USD 792 million or the equivalent of nearly IDR 12 trillion (assuming an exchange rate of IDR 14,800 per USD).
According to him, the age of the used jet purchased by Indonesia only has 10 years left. Because, Qatar Air Force bought from France in the late 1980s.
“The problem is, the Mirage 2000-5 aircraft was purchased by the Qatar Air Force from France in the late 1980s. This means that it is three decades old and only 10 years are left for use,” said Hasanuddin, Friday, June 23, 2023.
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Hasanuddin believes it is better for the Ministry of Defense to buy new fighter jets than to buy used planes. He also calculated that the price per unit of used Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets is around USD 66 million/unit.
In addition, he said the large selection of new fighter jets is closer to the USD 66 million mark. Among them are the Super Hornet (USD 67 million/unit), the F-35A (USD 77 million/unit), Gripen (USD 85 million/unit), or the F-15 EX (USD 87 million/unit).
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“With a budget of USD 792 million or nearly Rp 12 trillion allocated by the Ministry of Defense to purchase Mirage 2000-5, Indonesia can get nearly 1 squadron of new F-35A, SAAB Gripen or F-15 EX fighter jets,” he said.
“If possible plus USD 150 million, we can get 1 full squadron of F-35A, SAAB Gripen or new F-15 EX,” he added.
Hasanuddin stated that the Mirage fighter jets that Indonesia will buy will only receive service support for the first three years. After that, the next seven years must pay dearly.
“The cost of maintaining fighter aircraft is not cheap, let alone old aircraft, is our budget ready?” he said.
Prabowo previously explained that the purchase of 12 used Mirage 2000-5 fighter aircraft from Qatar was a temporary solution because many of the aircraft owned by the TNI were old.
Prabowo emphasized that it is impossible for a country as large as Indonesia not to have aircraft for daily operations. Therefore, he said Mirage fighter aircraft could be brought in as soon as possible for the operational needs of the TNI.
“This is an interim solution. So many of our aircraft are now very old and in a state of needing quite a large amount of refurbishment,” said Prabowo. ()