(From the National Interest)
By Dave Majumdar
Indonesia hopes to sign a deal with Russia to purchase ten advanced Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E fighters next month.
The powerful Russian-built air superiority fighter would replace Jakarta’s current fleet of American-built Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II fighters. The Su-35s will join Jakarta’s existing fleet of sixteen older Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 Flankers—of which Indonesia operates several variants despite its small fleet.
“I will go to Russia in March to sign off the contract,” Indonesian defense minister Ryamizard Ryacudu told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with a Russian Security Council delegation in Jakarta, according to Defense World.net. Other local Indonesian media corroborate the report.
Ryamizard said that Indonesia would purchase a maximum of ten Su-35s. However, the actual number acquired could be as low as eight, according to the Indonesian daily Tempo. Initially, the country had wanted as many as sixteen of the advanced Russian fighters.
Ryamizard said that the small purchase would allow Jakarta to buy a more sophisticated aircraft if one became available later. “If brand new technology comes to surface, we can update (the fighter jets),” he said. Read more