PROGRES.ID– Indonesia is set to receive units of the Rafale F4 fighter jet ahead of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, the UAE had previously secured a substantial contract to purchase 80 Rafale F4 units worth 14 billion euros in early December 2021.
It’s estimated that Indonesia will receive its first unit by 2026, according to previous disclosures by Dassault Aviation.
As known, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense had already signed a contract for the procurement of Rafale fighter jets effective from September 2022.
According to Defense Express (11/14/2023), the United Arab Emirates is projected to receive its initial Rafale F4 unit in 2027, which was initially scheduled for arrival in 2026.
Why would the Rafale order for the UAE arrive later than Indonesia, despite their contract being effective later? It appears to be due to the plans of the UAE-based defense giant EDGE Group, intending to arm the Rafale F4 fighter jets with high-precision ammunition manufactured by its subsidiary, Al Tariq. Theunis Botha, CEO of Al Tariq, revealed that the process of integrating these weapons is underway, and the necessary contracts have been finalized.
Botha explained that munitions such as the Mk81, Mk82, and Mk83 guided air bombs would be integrated into the Rafale fighter jets.
This integration process is expected to be completed by the time the UAE receives its first Rafale fighter jet. Additionally, he hopes that Dassault Aviation will provide official authorization for this integration.
The delivery of the entire batch of 80 Rafale F4 units is planned between 2026 and 2031. However, the first aircraft is likely to face delays. Botha emphasized that the deliveries around 2027 are highly probable.
As per information cited from Indomiliter.com, Al Tariq specializes in manufacturing military equipment, particularly smart bombs.
The company collaborates with Denel Dynamics from South Africa to release long-range precision munition kits for the MK83 bombs.
The guidance kit attached to the MK83 bomb allows the 453 kg bomb to travel up to 120 km using a combination of GNSS/INS anti-jamming technology, Imaging Infrared (IIR) with complete Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) capabilities, and semi-active laser seekers to engage moving and relocating targets.