Who Is Behind the Mysterious Sale of Qatari Mirage Planes to Indonesia?

The deal between both countries was brokered by Dubai’s E-Systems Solutions, owned by a French businessman and former air force officer

A Miraj fighter jet. Photo source: SRA GREG L. DAVIS, USAF, via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, a transfer of 12 Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets from Qatar to Indonesia had begun. These aircrafts, part of the Qatari fleet, were sold following French approval. They prepared for transportation by Defense Conseil International (DCI), a French-owned private company based in Qatatr, and were transported by Antonov 124 cargo planes.

The deal between Qatar and Indonesia was tailored by E-Systems Solutions, a Dubai-based company owned by a French businessman and former French air force officer named Habib Boukharouba. Following his retirement from service, Boukharouba established in Dubai a flourishing business for selling and chartering cargo planes. The company has been operating in the Gulf countries and in Africa for the past ten years.

Boukharouba’s business partner is another businessman and consultant, named Prabowo Subianto, who has close relations with the Indonesian government. Subiano also specializes in electronic warfare.

As for the financial side of the transaction, negotiations were discreetly conducted by a Czech company called Excalibur International, a trade and export company focusing on warfare. Excalibur is a subsidiary company established by Czechoslovak Group (CSG) arms corporation, owned by the Strnad family.

The Strnads acquired their fortune and reputation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, by selling Soviet arms mostly in Africa and Asia. Later on, the family went on to sell western warfare in those countries, manufactured by General Dynamics and Nexter. The Strnads and CSG were also Elbit System’s representatives during negotiations to sell the Israeli company’s systems to Azerbaijan.

Since the start of the war on Ukraine, CSG was involved in the sales of ammunition to Kiev. In recent months, the company had signed many contract in Indonesia, including one signed in December 2022 to supply aerial defense missiles, manufactured by Turkey’s Roketsan.

With the Miraj contract, Indonesia is trying to close the operational gap, created by the aging of its Su-27 and Su-30 fighter aircrafts array.

As far as known, Indonesia’s air force did not especially desire the Qatari fighter jets, which initially were meant to be sold to Bulgaria or Ukraine. However, through Subiano’s mediation and after several months of negotiations, the decision was made.

Rare-earth elements between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China
The Eastern seas after Afghanistan: the UK and Australia come to the rescue of the United States in a clumsy way
The failure of the great games in Afghanistan from the 19th century to the present day
Russia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. The intelligence services organize and investigate