Jakarta. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday (19/05) denied reports that Indonesia has already purchased 10 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia.
A deal was reportedly signed for the fighter jets during President Joko Widodo’s state visit this week to Russia.
“I need to correct reports that Indonesia has bought the Sukhoi jets—no such deal has been signed yet,” Retno said without revealing whether the deal is still on or no longer on the table.
She said defense was one of the issues discussed on Wednesday by Jokowi, as the Indonesian president is popularly known, and President Vladimir Putin, but the Sukhoi purchase was not a topic of discussion.
“We talked about defense in the larger context,” Retno said.
In an interview with Reuters a week ago, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said the government had agreed to buy eight Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets this year, though he did note that the price for the deal is still being negotiated.
Indonesia had initially planned to buy around twelve of the Russian jets to replace its aging Northrop F-5 fighters and to supplement a fleet of five Sukhoi Su-27 and 11 Su-30 fighter jets that formed the backbone of its air force.
Sukhoi has beaten rivals like Eurofighter—whose primary users are the Spanish, German, British and Italian air forces—and Sweden’s Gripen—used by Royal Thai, Swedish, South African and Brazilian air forces—for the replacement contract.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest country, has increased its defense spending over the past three years, modernizing its aging military arsenal, especially its Air Force fleet.
Maybe cannot agree on the package!
Or maybe pending Malaysian decision on their MRCA program?
Maybe interested in Gripen E?
See related post:
See details of Su-35: HERE