US, Indonesia to Increase Military Interoperability

The Indonesian government has announced plans to procure Boeing F-15 jets, reinforcing its pledge to increase military interoperability with the US.

As part of a defense treaty between the countries, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto expressed his government’s continued support of the US military presence in the Indo-Pacific.

“The United States has always been a good friend to us in our times of need,” Subianto said. “We thank, again, the United States government for the great assistance given to us during the pandemic, COVID 19.” 

The announcement was made following a state visit by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III, who said that frequent bilateral meetings with Indonesia further strengthen ties that “stretch back more than 70 years.”

“The scope and scale of our defense cooperation only continues to grow, spurred both by our converging security interests and by our commitment to shared principles,” he said.

The US secretary revealed plans to strengthen the scope of their engagements, including increased joint military exercises and expanded opportunities for Indonesian and American service members.

US-Indonesia Relations

For decades, the two large democracies have forged commitments to improve their bilateral relationship “in many aspects of operations, in training and education, in military weapons, and in joint exercises,” among others.

Earlier this year, the US approved he sale of 36 F-15 fighter jets and other assorted military equipment to Indonesia worth $14 billion.

In 2018, the US Air Force completed the delivery of 30 F-16 fighter jets to Jakarta, enhancing its internal air defense capabilities “without compromising the defense budget and other national priorities.”

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The delivery is a landmark example of defense cooperation between the two countries through the excess defense articles refurbishment deal in 2011.