Indonesia Close to Finalizing $14 Billion F-15 Deal with the U.S.

Indonesian defense minister Prabowo said the Southeast Asian country is awaiting a final sign-off from the government on its planned purchase of F-15 fighter jets from the United States. Prabowo said after the meeting with his U.S. counterpart Austin in Jakarta that Boeing had agreed to the financial offer proposed and he was confident the package was affordable. “The decision now is with the Indonesian government… Negotiations have advanced very well,” he added.

The Pentagon said the U.S. State Department had approved in February the potential sale of Boeing F-15ID aircraft and related equipment to Indonesia in a deal valued at up to $13.9 billion. Indonesia has been looking to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets, including U.S. made F-16s and Russian made Su-27 and Su-30s

“We certainly support the minister’s efforts to continue to modernize their defense systems and capabilities and we want to continue to be helpful in any way we can,” U.S. Defense Secretary Austin said.

“The acquisition of the F15 certainly increases interoperability,” he added.

Prabowo also mentioned tensions between major power in the Indo-Pacific, saying Indonesia was committed to its policy of non-alignment and was “honored” to maintain good relations with both the U.S. and China.

Prabowo met with his Chinese counterpart Wei last Friday, where the two sides agreed that Indonesia and China would resume joint military training exercises and education, which had been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Indonesia and the United States also participated in the Super Garuda Shield exercise, a military partnership between the countries that is now one of the biggest joint, multinational exercises in the region.

The meeting between Austin and Prabowo comes amid the U.S. effort to strengthen relations with the countries in the Indo-Pacific region amid concerns over Beijing’s increasing military presence, and a possible conflict in Taiwan.

U.S. Vice President Harris met Philippine President Marcos in Manila on Monday, part of a three-day trip that has been billed as a chance to re-establish security ties.

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