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France signs defense deal with Indonesia for 42 fighter jets

Indonesia has ordered 42 Rafale fighter jets from France, French Defense Minister Florence Parly and her Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto announced Thursday.

Indonesia also announced its intention to purchase two Scorpène-class submarines from the French Naval Group. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

France has benefited from Indonesia shutting the door on buying Russian jets in December. The Indonesian military said it was no longer interested in Sukhoi Su-35 fighters, partly because it feared U.S. sanctions.

The order represents a relative victory for France in the Indo-Pacific region, a few months after the AUKUS debacle in September 2021, in which Australia suddenly dropped a submarine deal with France to create an alliance with the U.S and the U.K.

Jakarta has already bought six of the jets built by Dassault Aviation, and signed a contract for the remaining 36, adding to the pile-up of orders for the French manufacturer.

France sold 80 Rafale warplanes to the United Arab Emirates as part of a €17 billion contract in December. Greece has bought 24 planes, some second-hand, over the last year.

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