"We have prepared several pilots, but we have not determined the number. However, we have readied the criteria and those who are eligible to fly the Rafale," Prasetyo remarked after the 2022 Indonesian Air Force Leadership Meeting at the Air Force Headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, Friday.
Prasetyo remarked that the fighter pilots will receive training in France and Indonesia before being assigned to the existing squadron.
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However, he noted that the new placement for the jet unit was not easy since several requirements had to be met.
"This is because placing air units is quite complex. There are several requirements that must be met," he pointed out.
Earlier, Defense Minister Prabowo Sugianto signed a cooperation contract for the purchase of six French-made 4.5 generation Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft.
Subianto announced the purchase after receiving an honorary visit from the Minister of the Armed Forces of the French Republic Florence Parly at the Ministry of Defense Office in Jakarta, February 10.
Subianto affirmed that Indonesia will make a significant purchase of the Military Armament System (alutsista) for multirole combat aircraft by acquiring 42 Rafale aircraft.
"We start today by signing the first contract for six planes," Prabowo remarked.
Furthermore, it will be followed by a contract for 36 more aircraft, with support for training in the required weapons and simulators, he noted.
In addition to purchase of the aircraft, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked between Dassault and PT Dirgantara Indonesia under which it was agreed to maintain and repair French aircraft in Indonesia.
The Dassault Rafale is an all-role fighter or omnirole fighter that has been operated by France since 2004. Until 2018, France had operated at least 132 Rafale aircraft for the Air Force and 48 units for the French Navy.
Several other countries are also keen to use the Rafale as their fighter aircraft, including Egypt by having 24 units; Qatar, 36 units; and India, 36 units.
The aircraft also regularly participate in multinational drillings, such as Red Flag, ATLC, Tiger Meet, Maple Flag, Arctic Challenge, Pitch Black, and Bold Quest.
With a wingspan of 10.9 meters, length of 15.3 meters, and height of 5.3 meters, the Rafale uses a twin turbofan engine coded M88 that is claimed to achieve a maximum speed of 1,389 km per hour, with an operating altitude of 50 thousand feet.
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