Spain has submitted a tender to supply Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to the Indonesian government, entering a bidding war with other producers of combat aircraft as the country seeks to beef up its military strength.
Indonesia has dedicated 7 percent of budgetary spending to defense over the past two years in an attempt to regenerate an aging military arsenal to both match regional powers and to secure the vast archipelago.
“The competition the Eurofighter is entering is for the replacement of the regular old combat aircraft that you [Indonesia] have,” Spanish Ambassador to Indonesia Francisco Jose Viqueira Niel said on Wednesday.
The latter, produced by Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab, opened a representative office in Indonesia last year to seek opportunities for cooperation with the government.
“We thought the door was closed for Eurofighter. But after we went public saying we wanted to participate, we are now in the game,” Viqueira said.
The ambassador has met with senior officials including Defense Minister Ryamirzard Ryacudu, Industry Minister Saleh Husin and Indonesian Military Chief Gen. Moeldoko.
Indonesia’s military spending has risen 3.3 percent to Rp 97 trillion ($7.8 billion) in the 2015 state budget, with 40 percent of that amount dedicated to weaponry and equipment.
Viqueira said the Typhoon cost more than its competitors, but declined to name a figure, saying that it would be disclosed in government-to-government meetings between Indonesia and Spain.
Saab announced last October that Brazil had agreed to buy 36 Gripen NG jets at a total price of 39.3 billion Swedish krona ($4.7 billion), putting the plane’s unit cost at around $130 million. (The Jakarta Globe)