The Jakarta Post
Sweden has officially offered its air power package to Indonesia, banking on lower lifecycle cost coupled with attractive financing solutions and a commitment to fulfill its obligation of transferring the technology.
The offer was announced by Swedish Ambassador to Jakarta Johanna Brismar Skoog during a breakfast briefing at her residence in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, on Thursday morning.
Indonesia is looking to replace its aging, US-made F-5 E/F Tiger II jet fighter and the Swedish offer is thus far the only comprehensive one.
Rather than offering only the latest generation of its light, single engine Gripen jet fighter, Swedish defense and security giant Saab throws a complete set of air defense systems.
The offer also includes Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) for maritime surveillance and control; ground-based Command and Control; tactical data link to share data among various platforms; industrial cooperation, including transfer of technology and local production; and extensive job creation, reaching into the thousands.
'We have a proven track record on transfer of technology and industrial cooperation,' Skoog said, citing Brazil, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa and Thailand as examples.
'We have the best capacities and capabilities in air defense allowing you to control your territory.'
She added that the air power package offered by Sweden was not only limited to military purposes but also civilian, such as monitoring illegal fishing, smuggling and piracy.
Meanwhile, Saab Indonesia head Peter Carlqvist said Saab was offering the most cost-efficient air defense solution.
Citing a study by Jane's, he said Gripen had the lowest flight hour cost when compared with its competitors at US$4,700 per hour. Another light, single-engine fighter contender, the US-made F-16 Fighting Falcon is at $7,700. The cost increases for heavy, twin-engine fighters. French-made Dassault Rafale costs $16,500 and Eurofighter Typhoon $18,000.
Carlqvist said that the Russian-made Sukhoi Su-27/30 Flanker, tipped as Indonesia's ultimate choice, was the costliest at between $40,000 and $50,000.
With the same amount of money, he said, Indonesia could afford to operate four-times as many Gripens instead of the Sukhois. 'Or the money can be channeled somewhere else, such as universities or hospitals,' he said.
He added that the most important consideration was the total lifecycle cost, with acquisition cost contributing only some 20 percent.
On industrial cooperation, Carlqvist said it would include local production and technology transfer to local companies. 'We are committed to fulfilling the obligation of 35 percent direct offset and 50 percent indirect offset,' he said.
Saab, for example, will transfer the know-how on designing and making tactical data link complete with cryptography so that Indonesia could have its own system guaranteeing a high level of security.
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