As the international community continues to ramp up military assets and modernization efforts amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Indonesia is in a budget dilemma on funding its warplane acquisitions, including South Korea’s KF-21 Boramae, Boeing F-15 Eagle, and Dassault Rafale.

Earlier this month, the Indonesian Air Force (IDAF) announced that it would resume payments to South Korea for its part in the joint stealth fighter jet program that was previously stalled due to a financial crisis. An expert told Janes that Jakarta paid Seoul the KF-X (now known as KF-21 Boramae) development cost of KRW9.41 billion (USD6.63 million), the first repayment made by the former in three years.

KF-21 Prototype (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

After a series of bilateral talks South Korea and Indonesia finally settled in November 2021 on a recommitment funding of 20 percent development costs for the part of the latter until 2026 in addition to about 30 percent “in kind” contribution that would include “commodities and other goods,” Janes reported. This has been quite an adjustment from the original agreement between the two Asian countries in 2015, where Jakarta initially agreed to finance 20 percent of the total investment of KRW8.8 trillion (USD6.2 billion) for developing KF-21 until 2028 and, in return, would benefit “access ti technologies, expertise, and options to buy” the multirole fighter aircraft from Seoul.

But due to setbacks, including contract concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia has stopped paying its 20 percent commitment in 2019.