Indonesia will buy 10 units of Sukhoi 35 fighter jets from Russia to strengthen the country’s air forces, a minister confirmed on Tuesday.
“I will go to Russia in March to sign off the contract,” Defense Minister Ryamizard told reporters on the sidelines of his meeting with visiting Russian Security Council delegation in Jakarta.
He said the government limit the purchase to 10 units, but promised to update the air forces’ warplane fleet according to the rapid technology development in global fighter jet industry.
“If brand new technology comes to surface, we can update (the fighter jets),” the minister said.
Ryamizard added that Indonesia and Russia have agreed on the transfer of technology (TOT) terms regarding the purchase.
He said that Indonesia would send its military personnel to Russia to undergo training where they will expand their knowledge on defense science and operation of the planes.
Indonesian Air Forces Commander, Marshall Agus Supriatna hinted late last year that Indonesia would buy 12 units of Sukhoi 35 fighter jets to replace the already-decommissioned light attack warplanes F-5 E/F.
The Air Forces gets 3.1 million U.S. dollars in funds from the state budget to modernize its fleet in a bid to comply with Minimum Essential Force (MEF) military doctrine for 2015 to 2019 period.
Indonesian Air Forces operates 11 Sukhoi 30 and 5 Sukhoi 27 planes, which come from the same “Flanker family” with Sukhoi 35, in its fleet at present.
Besides the defense minister, the Russian delegation was received by several other Indonesian officials including the maritime security chief, anti-narcotics agency chief, intelligence agency chief and Indonesian military intelligence chief.
The visiting Russian delegation was led by the Security Council secretary. They held a close-door meeting with Indonesian counterparts, discussing cooperation in defense, combating drug abuses and terrorism issues.