We start today by signing the first contract for six planes
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) has dispatched six pilots to France to attend training sessions to man the 4.5-generation Dassault Rafale fighter jets purchased by Indonesia.

"We have dispatched six pilots and eight engineers to France to attend the training sessions," TNI AU Chief of Staff Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo stated on the sidelines of an Air Force seminar here, Tuesday.

He remarked that pilots and engineers will spend three months in France for the training session.

"It will not be long. They will only spend three months (in France)," Prasetyo noted.

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Earlier, in February, Defence Minister Prabowo Sugianto had signed a cooperation contract for the purchase of six French-made 4.5-generation Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft.

Subianto affirmed that Indonesia will make a significant purchase of the Military Armament System for multirole combat aircraft by acquiring 42 Rafale aircraft.

"We start today by signing the first contract for six planes," Prabowo remarked on Thursday (February 10).

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 the Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) under which it was agreed to maintain and repair French aircraft in Indonesia.

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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 acquiring 24 units; Qatar, 36 units; and India, 36 units.

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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Translator: Syaiful Hakim, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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