Singapore, Jumadal Awwal /20 February 2016 (MINA) – Indonesia is ordering around a dozen Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and could sign a contract for the purchase in a month’s time, it was reported here on Friday.
These will replace its ageing Northrop F-5 fighters, and supplement a fleet of 16 Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 fighters forming the backbone of Indonsian Air Force.
Indonesian companies will get contracts to manufacture some components for the Su-35, and the Russians are expected to set up a maintenance centre for the fighter jet in the country, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) quoted SPA as reporting.
Officials from United Aircraft Corporation, which manufactures the Su-35, declined to comment at the Singapore Airshow.
Indonesia will purchase the aircraft in a bundle with armaments and avionics systems.
The Su-35 was chosen over its competitors, such as the US-made F-16 Viper and the the German-made Eurofighter Typhoon.
Part of the rationale for procuring the Su-35s was that they are being touted as comparable in capability to the F-16V, the latest, modernized version of the Lockheed Martin fighter, but that they are also a good fit with the older model Su-30MK2 aircraft already in Indonesian service.
Russia may also provide the financing for the Indonesian Su-35 deal. The vice-chairman of the defense commission in the lower house of Indonesia’s national parliament stated in early September that there were on-going negotiations with Moscow for a $3 billion line of credit to be used for purchasing Russian-produced weapon systems.
There will also be an industrial-participation package for Indonesia’s local aerospace sector involving production of some Su-35 components and a complete line of maintenance functions for the aircraft. This arrangement will be similar to that organized for Malaysian industry after its purchase of MiG-29N and Su-30MKM fighters. (R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)