By Costas Pitas and Mike Stone
LOS ANGELES/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of F-15ID aircraft and related equipment to Indonesia in a deal valued at up to $13.9 billion, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto said the country was planing on buying 42 Rafale fighter jets in a $8.1 billion deal as part of a series of agreements also including submarine development.
The country has been seeking to overhaul its ageing air fleet for a while, which up until today includes U.S.-made F-16 and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 jets.
Media reports have said Indonesia wanted to buy more than 70 jets from France and the United States.
Boeing is the principal contractor for the F-15 jets, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.
The package would include 36 jets, spare engines, radars, night vision goggles training and technical support, the Pentagon said.
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Thursday.
Despite approval by the State Department, the notification does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas in Los Angeles and Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech and David Gregorio)