Purchases of Used Eurofighter Typhoon Aircraft Must Be Stopped

Press Release

Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform

On July 10th, 2020, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto sent an official letter to Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner stating Indonesia's interest in buying 15 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft to strengthen the military defense equipment. However, the aircraft to be purchased are not new, but used by the Austrian Armed Forces.

We consider that the idea of buying a second-hand Eurofighter Typhoon fighter from Austria is not only inappropriate, but also has the potential to create new problems in the future. The idea of buying it will repeat the mistakes of the past, where the procurement of used defense equipment raises the problem of accountability for the defense budget and what is even more dangerous is that its use by TNI soldiers faces the risk of accidents.

We view that the age of the aircraft which has entered almost 20 years will waste more of the budget when compared to procuring a new aircraft. In fact, the Austrian government reportedly intends to retire the entire Eurofighter Typhoon fleet in 2017. The aircraft, which was made in 2002, according to a statement by the Austrian Government, has entered a period of inefficiency in its operation. The Ministry of Defense does not have sufficient reasons to buy the aircraft, both from the technical-juridical aspect, the technical-operational aspect of the aircraft, including considering the efficiency of the state budget.

If this purchase plan is realized, there is a potential for the Indonesian government to spend a larger budget to operate and maintain the aircraft. According to the Austrian Government itself, if they keep operating the aircraft until they are finished, they will spend approximately Euro 5 billion, compared to if they bought a new plane which could provide an efficiency value of Euro 2 billion. Technically, the lifespan of an aircraft is generally between 25-30 years. While the age of Typhoon has entered 20 years.

We think that Indonesia seems to be a market country for used defense equipment because it often buys used goods from other countries. If we recalculate with the efficiency value of the equipment purchased, Indonesia will certainly benefit greatly if it buys new fighter aircraft needed for the benefit of protecting Indonesian air from potential disturbances.

For the record, the procurement of the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter is also involved in the issue of alleged bribery and sharp criticism within Austria itself. In 2017, the Austrian government filed a lawsuit against Airbus in the Munich court, Germany, for alleged bribes by the company that manufactures the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft to Austrian officials. The Austrian government said there was a loss of EUR 1.1 billion from a total purchase contract of almost EUR 2 billion. This case ended with Airbus being obliged to pay a fine of EUR 81.35 million. Not only that, Airbus is also said to be still facing legal proceedings related to allegations of fraud and corruption in the Austrian Court.

We also view that the planned purchase of a used Eurofighter Typhoon fighter has the potential to cause deviations due to the absence of a fixed price standard. Transparency International in its 'Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index 2015' survey shows that the risk of corruption in the military/defense sector in Indonesia is still relatively high. In the survey, the risk of corruption in the military/defense sector in Indonesia is still high with a D score, on par with countries such as Namibia, Kenya, and Bangladesh.

Furthermore, any procurement of defense equipment must be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Law no. 16 of 2012 concerning the Defense Industry. In this case, the procurement of new defense equipment should be considered with the offset mechanism or technology transfer. In addition, the Ministry of Defense must focus on the independence of the defense industry so that the procurement of defense equipment should prioritize domestic purchases.

Based on the description above, Imparsial urges:

  1. Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to cancel the plan to purchase second-hand Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft from Austria;
  2. Commission I of the House of Representatives to reject the plan to purchase second-hand fighter aircraft belonging to Austria which is full of corruption problems;
  3. The government to open a plan to purchase defense equipment in a transparent and accountable manner.

Jakarta, July 28th, 2020

Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform

Indonesian Corruption Watch, Imparsial, SETARA Institute, KontraS, Public Virtue Institute, ELSAM, PILNET Indonesia, LBH Jakarta, PBHI, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)


Adnan Topan Husodo (+62 812 3600 3034)

Gufron M (+62 812 1334 0612)

Hussein Ahmad (+62 812 5966 8926)

Julius Ibrani (+62 813-1496-9726)

Erwin Natosmal Oemar (+62 813-9214-7200)

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