Indonesia orders 42 Rafale jets from France. Indonesia strikes a balance between French-made Rafale fighters and US-made F-15s in deals with a wary eye on China

PARIS: Indonesia will order 42 Rafale fighter jets, French Defence Minister Florence Parly, who is currently on a trip to the Asian country, confirmed on Thursday (Feb 10).

"It's official: Indonesia orders 42 Rafales", she said in a Tweet, saying the order would make Indonesia the second state in the region to rely on the jet produced by Dassault Aviation .

Dassault Aviation said the deal marked the start of a long-term partnership and would allow it to rapidly step up its presence in Indonesia.

The deal comes as Paris, which views itself as a global maritime power, seeks to expand its geopolitical ties in the Indo-Pacific to react to the creation of a new strategic alliance between the US, Britain and Australia.

"Indonesia also commits to cooperation with our industry in the sector of submarines," added Parly, referring to an area deemed as particularly sensitive after Australia last year cancelled a multi-billion submarine deal with Paris, causing a major diplomatic rift.

"Our strategic partnership will benefit from the deepening of our defence relations," added Parly, commenting on the deal with Indonesia.