JAKARTA: The Indonesian government has delayed a plan to buy 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets previously used by Qatar, due to limited fiscal capacity, a spokesperson for the defence minister said.
Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak made the comments in a panel interview with broadcaster TV One earlier this week, saying the delay was chosen by the defence and finance ministries.
“The government … has delayed the purchase of Mirage jets because our fiscal capacity, for the time being, cannot support such purchase,” Dahnil said on TV One, adding that the military would order a retrofit for its existing Sukhoi and F16 aircraft instead.
Dahnil, as well as spokespeople for the army and finance ministries, did not respond to Reuters request for comments.
Indonesia inked a deal with a unit of Czech defence company Czechoslovak Group (CSG) to buy 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets in January 2023, valued at €733 million (US$801.68 million), the defence minister said last year.
The secondhand jets were set to be shipped within 24 months after the deal was signed. They were meant to be used while Indonesia waits for the arrival of some of the 42 Rafale fighter jets that Jakarta had bought in 2022 for US$8.1 billion.
The plan to buy the Mirage planes has been criticised by some lawmakers because the jets were thought old