JAKARTA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s plan to buy F-15 fighter jets is at an advanced stage and is awaiting the final sign-off from the government, the Southeast Asian country’s defense minister said. said on Monday.
Speaking after meeting with his American lawyer Lloyd Austin in Jakarta, Prabowo Subianto said Boeing has agreed to the financial offer and he believes the package is worth it.
“The decision is now with the Indonesian government… Discussions are very good,” he said.
In February, the US Department of Defense approved the potential sale of Boeing F-15ID aircraft and related equipment to Indonesia in an agreement worth $13.9 billion, the Pentagon said.
Indonesia has been looking to upgrade its aging air force for some time, which currently includes the US-made F-16 and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 jets.
“We certainly support the president’s efforts to continue to improve their defenses and capabilities and we want to continue to help in any way we can,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin said.
“The acquisition of the F15 really made the interaction possible,” he added.
Regarding the conflict between the major powers in the Indo-Pacific region, Prabowo, the special forces chief, said that Indonesia is committed to its policy of non-conflict and is entitled to maintain relations with China and the United States.
Prabowo met with his counterpart Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in Xi’an last Friday, where it was agreed that Indonesia and China would resume military cooperation. and education, which has been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, Indonesia and the United States also participated in the Super Garuda Shield exercise, a joint military exercise between the countries that is now one of the largest, multi-national joint exercises. people in the area.
Monday’s meeting between Austin and Prabowo comes as the U.S. works to strengthen its ties with regional countries amid fears of Beijing’s growing military presence, and potential related to Taiwan.
US Vice President Kamala Harris met with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in Manila on Monday, part of a three-day trip billed as an opportunity to rebuild security.
After his Jakarta branch, Austin will go to Cambodia to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministerial meeting.
Reported by Ananda Teresia in Jakarta, Kate Lamb in Sydney and Idrees Ali in Washington; Written by Kate Lamb; Edited by Ed Davies
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