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Europe offers Typhoon fighters to Indonesia, promises local assembly

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JAKARTA (BNS): European consortium Eurofighter GmbH has offered its Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters to Indonesia with the promise that a final assembly facility would be set up in the Southeast Asian country if Jakarta chooses the warplane.

As Indonesia plans a replacement of its existing fighter-jet fleet, delegates from Eurofighter arrived in Jakarta over the weekend to begin a series of demonstrations aimed at underlining the full scope of the offer from the four-nation consortium, the company said on April 16.

While emphasising that choosing the Typhoons will provide Indonesia the opportunity to build and maintain a genuine indigenous capability, Joe Parker, Export Director for Eurofighter GmbH, based in Munich, Germany, said: "Rapidly deployable and reliable maritime protection is a fundamental requirement for this nation of islands and no other aircraft of this type can fly longer, faster and higher than ours when fully-loaded.

"Add this to the fact that we would be able to facilitate assembly line capabilities into Bandung, enabling the aircraft to be built here in Indonesia by Indonesians and it is easy to see why we believe this a major opportunity making the Indonesian Archipelago a future hub for operations in the Southern Hemisphere."

This week, for the first time, Eurofighter will be showcasing a Full Scale Exhibition Demonstrator Eurofighter Typhoon when it goes on display in a hangar at PT DI's facilities in Bandung -- the potential location for the Indonesian Eurofighter Typhoon production line.

"Transferring technology is not a problem for us," said Parker, "It is part of our day-job. What excites me is the potential I see in Indonesia for developing huge levels of indigenous capability around this opportunity -- not just those in connection with the Eurofighter Typhoon -- but around the many spin-off opportunities that would be created by the generation of new skill-sets. We have seen it happen before - and we know it can happen again."

Indonesia had issued an RfI in January 2014 to acquire new-generation warplanes to replace its Air Force's ageing fleet of US-built F-5 Tiger fighters.

Besides the Eurofighter Typhoon, Sweden's Gripen, Russia's Su-35, US's F-16 and France's Rafale fighters are the other contenders for the contract.

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