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Subject: AFP: Fighter purchase covered by export
Date: Fri, 09 Oct 1998 12:04:00 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <etan@etan.org>

London says Indonesian fighter purchase covered by export guarantees Francais servi

JAKARTA, Oct 8 (AFP) - The British government has covered the purchase of 16 fighter planes by Indonesia with export guarantees to the tune of 420 million dollars, Deputy Foreign Minister Derek Fatchett said here Thursday.

"The Export Credit Guarantee Scheme does not differentiate between the goals of the products. Export contract guarantees cover everything," Fatchett told a press conference here.

Fatchett added the authorization for the sale of the 16 Hawk fighters due to be delivered by the end of next year, had been given by the previous (Conservative) government.

"The United Kingdom extended credit guarantees as a part of its efforts to maintain stability (in the region,)" he said.

British Aerospace is scheduled to deliver the Hawk light combat multi-role single-seat fighters, which can be used in ground attacks, to Indonesia between now and the end of 1999.

Indonesia already has 14 similar fighters, the Hawk Mk 53, and military sources here say they have been used against the resistance in the former Portguese colony of East Timor.

Not counting the new Hawk contract, Indonesia's total export debt guarantees, according to British sources, amount to some 2.9 billion dollars, about half of it for military purchases.

Indonesia, which is staggering under a debt of some 140 billion dollars, announced earlier this year it had decided not to buy Sukhoi combat planes and helicopters from Russia.

be-kw/jd

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