Monthly Archives: March 2017

Are the F-15 Eagle’s days numbered?

Are the F-15 Eagle’s days numbered? Top generals say maybe

By: Stephen Losey, March 22, 201

The Air Force is considering retiring its F-15 C and D fighter aircraft and replacing them with F-16s.

In a House Armed Services readiness subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, subcommittee chairman Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., asked Lt. Gen. Scott Rice, director of the Air National Guard, about plans to retire its 236 F-15 C and D Eagle fighters as a cost-saving measure, and filling their role with F-16 Fighting Falcons. Rice confirmed that was under consideration.

Later in the hearing, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., said that proposal was news to her, and asked Maj. Gen. Scott West, the Air Force’s director of current operations and deputy chief of staff for operations, if there had been any decision made on retiring those fighters.

West said nothing was official yet, but said the Air Force is looking for ways to maximize the use of its limited resources, and minimize the number of systems it operates while still accomplishing its mission. West and Rice both said the proposal to retire some F-15s is “predecisional.” There was no discussion of the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Rice said the F-16s potentially filling the role vacated by F-15s would receive radar upgrades.

The Air Force is now planning for fiscal 2019, Rice said, but a decision on retiring the F-15C and D would probably not be made this year. Which means those planes would not retire until fiscal 2020 at the earliest.

But replacing the F-15 C and D — a fighter primarily focused on air-to-air operations — with the F-16, which also has air-to-surface capabilities, would raise questions. The F-15 C and D, which entered the Air Force’s inventory in 1979, carries up to eight AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles. The F-16, on the other hand, can carry up to six air-to-air missiles or air-to-surface munitions. Both planes carry the M-61A1 20mm multi-barrel cannon, but the F-15 can carry 940 rounds of ammunition to the F-16’s 500.

“Clearly, these are two different types of aircraft with different capabilities,” Wilson said.

When asked if replacing the F-15 Eagle with the F-16 would have a negative effect on air superiority and present risks, Rice said it can be handled.

“There’s a risk in changing any of our force structure decisions,” Rice said. But, he added, “there are capabilities we can add and provide on the F-16 that will [fill] a gap as we go into the future. Overall, our readiness and our protection of the U.S. will change, but I think overall, we will be OK.”

McSally said that before the F-22 came online, the F-15C was probably the best air-to-air plane around. She compared the F-16 to a “decathlete” that can handle multiple types of combat at a lower cost, but said that even with upgraded radar, it wouldn’t have the same air-to-air capabilities as the F-15C.

She also expressed concern about what such a shift would do to aircraft readiness, considering that the Air Force is already facing a pilot shortage.

“We’re already in a readiness crisis,” McSally said. “If you’re now retraining everybody to another aircraft, in the midst of a crisis, that does have a bit of a short-term dip in readiness as well. With us being down to 55 fighter squadrons, we’ve just got to be careful on how that transition would happen, should this decision come to fruition.”

West said there will be some “offline” time as the Air Force moves from one air frame to another. But the advantage the Air Force now enjoys over nations such as China and Russia is lessening, he said, and such a modernization shift must happen sooner rather than later.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek later said that eliminating the F-15 C and D is not a done deal. Stefanek noted that the Air Force has also proposed eliminating the A-10 in multiple budgets, but the Warthog has survived.

“We’re always looking at force structure options for the future,” Stefanek said. “Until it is something that we put in our budget as a proposal, it’s just another option that could be pursued. Just because it’s an option doesn’t mean we’ll pursue it.”

Original post airforcetimes.com

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Cost Per Hour

Source aviatia.net

Rafale fighter jet emerging as front runner for Malaysia

Rafale appears in the lead as Malaysia seeks new fighter jets: defense source

 Wed Mar 22, 2017 | 7:08am EDT

By Joseph Sipalan | LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

France’s Rafale fighter jet is emerging as the frontrunner as Malaysia looks to replace its aging fleet of combat aircraft, a source in the Southeast Asian nation’s defense ministry said on Wednesday, despite narrowing its defense spending this year.

French President Francois Hollande was expected to make a pitch for the Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation SA, when he and his team visit Malaysia next week, the source said.

“The ministry’s top leadership have been promoting the Rafale,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak to media on the negotiations.

“It’s been done in promotional material for LIMA, and even at top government meetings,” the source said, referring to this week’s biennial Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.

Malaysia was looking to buy up to 18 jets in a deal potentially worth more than $2 billion, the source said.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was reported in media as saying that the race for new fighter jets has narrowed down to the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by BAE Systems.

The plan is to replace the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) squadron of Russian MiG-29 combat planes, nearly half of which are grounded.

Dassault, which declined comment when approached, has kept a low profile in the race. BAE has been on a consistent and public campaign over the past six years to win the Malaysia contract, even establishing a regional office in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Steve Osborne, BAE’s sales director for military air and information for the Asia Pacific region, said the Typhoon had a good chance of landing the deal as the company already supplied defense equipment to Malaysia.

“We believe this gives the government of Malaysia the confidence in us that they may go with us…,” said Osborne.

An industry and a government source with knowledge of the negotiations said any decision would take at least two more years, as Prime Minister Najib Razak is focused on more domestic concerns in the run up to national polls that must be held by 2018.

Malaysia cut its total defense budget by 12.7 percent to 15.1 billion ringgit ($3.41 billion) this year, as Najib grapples with growing public discontent over rising living costs.

Besides Dassault and BAE, other suitors courting Malaysia are Russia’s Sukhoi and Sweden’s SAAB, which is selling its single engine Gripen.

Two industry sources said Sukhoi was also in talks with Indonesia, potentially to deliver up to two full squadrons of the new SU-35 planes. An Indonesian ministry official said in November that the ministry was looking to buy “nine or 10” of the planes, though the award had not been finalised.

SAAB, which is proposing a lease arrangement with Malaysia for use of the Gripen, is also in the running for a deal to deliver 36 single engine multi-role combat aircraft to the Philippines, according to an industry source who has direct knowledge of the negotiations.

“We’re expecting a decision by the Philippine government between 2018 and 2020. Their procurement process is scheduled to happen between 2021 and 2024,” the source said.

Defense spending in the Asia Pacific region is expected to hit $250 billion from 2016-20, IHS Janes Defence Weekly said in December, spurred by rising tension in the South China Sea where China has created several islands, worrying the United States and some of China’s neighbors.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have claims.

(Editing by Praveen Menon and Nick Macfie)

Original post reuters.com

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Malaysia was looking to buy up to 18 jets in a deal potentially worth more than $2 billion, the source said.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was reported in media as saying that the race for new fighter jets has narrowed down to the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by BAE Systems.

Well at least it’s $50 million cheaper than the Typhoon but still in the high end…….18 Rafale $4.5 billion (@$250m/unit) – 18 Typhoon $5.4 billion (@$300m/unit)……..

SAAB, which is proposing a lease arrangement with Malaysia for use of the Gripen, is also in the running for a deal to deliver 36 single engine multi-role combat aircraft to the Philippines, according to an industry source who has direct knowledge of the negotiations.

“We’re expecting a decision by the Philippine government between 2018 and 2020. Their procurement process is scheduled to happen between 2021 and 2024,” the source said.

Good going Philippines…….36 Gripen $3.35 billion (@$93m/unit)………

Related post:

Typhoon one of two aircraft on wish list for RMAF’s multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) replacement programme

Malaysia to increase defense spending to modernise and upgrade their equipment

Malaysian defense: Budget hinders military asset procurement – defensenews.com

RMAF opens Sukhoi technical service centre in Gong Kedak

Saab looks to Gripen lease to kickstart Malaysia’s MRCA programme

Russia, Malaysia Set the Sights on Jointly Developing Military Hardware

Malaysia is to be the first recipient of MD Helicopter’s new MD530 G-model

Dassault Rafale: Details

Rafale

Thailand interested in many types of Russian military equipment

Thailand shows interest in purchasing Russian armored vehicles

March 22, 9:01

Thailand is also interested in other kinds of equipment – in particular, the air defense systems

LANGKAWI (Malaysia), March 22. /TASS/. Thailand is showing interest in Russian-made armored vehicles, the director for international cooperation and regional policy at Russia’s defense industry conglomerate Rostec told reporters on Wednesday.

“I do not rule out the possibility of cooperation in the field of armored vehicles, since Thailand is showing considerable interest in it,” said Viktor Kladov who heads the joint delegation of Rostec and state arms exporter Rosoboronexport at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-2017) in Malaysia.

According to Kladov, Thailand is also interested in other Russian equipment, specifically, air defense systems, the Mil Mi-17 helicopters, the Yakovlev Yak-130, the Sukhoi Su-30 and the Beriev Be-200 aircraft.

Therefore, the situation is changing, he added. “There are some psychological barriers in Thailand, as some of the military were trained in US academies. However, the country is currently showing considerable interest in Russian equipment, since it is not only as good as US-made but also cheaper and more reliable,” he stressed.

Superjet contract  

Russia is successfully fulfilling the contract to supply three Sukhoi Superjet SSJ-100 aircraft to Thailand’s Defense Ministry:

“To date, two aircraft have been delivered. The third one will be delivered in accordance with the contract. The planes are intended for transportation of the country’s top officials,” Viktor Kladov has noted.

He added that some Thai airlines are also showing interest in purchasing the Superjet planes. “The issue is being discussed with the Thai side,” Kladov said.

Reports of new deal on Mi-7 helicopters 

The contract to supply another batch of Russian Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters to Thailand could be signed at an early date, a source in the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation informed TASS.

“Negotiations on the delivery of the Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters to the Kingdom of Thailand are in the final stage. The draft contract has been agreed on, and we hope to sign it in the near future,” he said.

The source added that no talks are underway with Thailand regarding potential contracts on other types of weapons. “This being said, we are ready for a constructive dialogue and for presenting some modern samples of our military equipment to our partners,” he noted.

The Royal Thai Armed Forces purchased Russia’s Mi-17V-5 helicopters in the past. Some media reports said that Bangkok is satisfied with their operational experience. In light of this, Thai representatives expressed willingness to purchase a few more of them.

The Mi-8MTV-5/Mi-17V-5 helicopters are intended for transporting both manpower and cargo. They can be used during rescue operations and are also capable of carrying armaments.

Original post tass.com

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Great Su-30SM is cheaper than the Gripen and I hope they ask for the upgraded Su-35 engines like the Su-30MKI are getting……

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Thailand Could Buy More Russian Mi-17V5 Helicopters

Royal Thai Army Orders 2 Additional MI-17-V5 from Russia

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Su-30SM: Details

su-30sm-28

Yakovlev Yak-130: Details

s (4)_olnc

Beriev BE-200: Details

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Typhoon one of two aircraft on wish list for RMAF’s multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) replacement programme

Typhoon blows away competitors

By LESLIE ANDRES – March 21, 2017 @ 2:22pm

HAVING worked with the Malaysian armed forces and supported the development of the local defence industry for decades, BAE Systems is hoping to take things further.

For the past 50 years, BAE Systems and its subsidiary companies have been supplying all three of the armed forces’ services with equipment, while supporting the defence industry for 20 of those years.

The relationship continues till today, and the company would like to see it grow even further by providing the Royal Malaysian Air Force the much-vaunted Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The Typhoon is one of two aircraft said to be in the shortlist for the RMAF’s multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) replacement programme, and BAE Systems, which builds the aircraft in consortium with two European companies, believes it is the perfect fit for Malaysian needs.

“BAE Systems has worked with the Malaysian armed forces for over 50 years and supported the development of the Malaysian defence industry for more than 20 years, gaining a unique understanding of Malaysia’s requirements and aspirations. BAE Systems can assure Malaysia that a procurement of Typhoon will deliver benefits well beyond the defence capability that the aircraft brings to the RMAF,” BAE Systems regional sales director Steve Osborne told the New Straits Times.

Much like the deal for the supply of Hawk advanced jet trainers year ago, the procurement of the Typhoon would come with various offset initiatives that will deliver over 21,500 Malaysian jobs.

Osborne said it was expected that the economy would benefit to the tune of RM54 billion over the operational life of the aircraft.

He said the MRCA programme required an aircraft that can address the ever-changing threats in the region and the Typhoon would deliver on this by having a clear strategy which upgrades the aircraft capability in regular phases to maintain combat advantages.

“With 599 aircraft on order with eight nations, more than double that of our competitor, Typhoon’s capability is the product of a global understanding of the operational environment. RMAF can have confidence that Typhoon will arrive ready to fight, have the highest interoperability with its (Five Power Defence Arrangement) and other international partners, and remain at the peak of capability throughout its life.”

MRCA need to be available for operations round-the-clock and must deliver this with the best use of operational expenditure, and BAE Systems guarantees that the Typhoon is just such an aircraft.

“The Typhoon is proven to consistently deliver the highest levels of availability in all operational environments, significantly higher than similar aircraft in its class. (It) was designed at the outset for maintainability and reliability across all of its systems.

“From the ultra-reliable EJ200 engine with a (mean time between failures) beyond 1,200 hours to the combat-proven weapons systems and Helmet Mounted Sighting System and sensor fusion, Typhoon will provide RMAF with the highest level of readiness.”

Another advantage, the company said, would come in terms of the FPDA.

Since the 1970s, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand have had an understanding under the FPDA to work together in times of conflict.

To this end, the five nations take part in a series of annual exercises where interoperability development across the air domain is a goal.

“Shortly, the UK and Australia will introduce the F-35 Lightning II into operation and it is possible that Singapore may look at the F-35 in the future. With Malaysia and Australia operating variants of the F/A-18, and Singapore operating the F-15SE and F-16, Typhoon offers a clear advantage for Malaysia in regards to current and future combat interoperability with these platforms.

“Further, with the UK developing their doctrine for Typhoon and F-35 interoperability, FPDA will provide the means for valuable experience sharing for operating with this fifth-generation fighter. Typhoon will provide RMAF with the best platform to continue to play a lead role in FPDA for the future,” said Osborne.

BAE Systems, in association with its training partners, also intends to provide Malaysia with “enduring, world-class skills and knowledge in aerospace technical training”.

BAE Systems Southeast Asia managing director John Brosnan said doing so would allow Malaysia the opportunity to significantly increase its share of the regional civil Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) market.

This, he said, would go some way towards the government’s target of gaining five per cent of the global MRO market.

“Such a development could also provide opportunities for current and past members of the RMAF to align their technical skills and experience with the civil market, resulting in effective and efficient aircraft operations,” he said.

The early basic foundation training and elementary qualifications for aerospace maintenance operations are largely the same as those for aerospace manufacturing.

BAE Systems, said Brosnan, proposes to provide Malaysia with the capability to train students in a way that will benefit the aerospace MRO and manufacturing sectors by providing options to follow careers in either sector at an early stage.

“BAE Systems recognises that first-class training is the essential foundation for a well-developed safety culture, contributing to product reliability, operational availability as well as reducing accidents due to maintenance error. While BAE Systems has trained a significant number of personnel from overseas air forces, it also trains its own workforce to support fifth-generation products, such as the F35, and the Royal Air Force in the maintenance of its Typhoon fleet at its Coningsby and Lossiemouth main operating bases.”

The company recently invested in a new Maintenance Training Academy and an Advanced Skills and Knowledge Academy in the UK to serve these training requirements, said Brosnan.

Original post nst.com.my

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Doubt it’s going to happen the Western fighters except for a few have priced themselves out of the market. Unless Malaysia wants six planes that will blow a large hole in their wallets instead……1 Typhoon can buy 3 Su-35 just think of that……Kuwait bought the Typhoon for $307 million per plane and that was last year…..

“Shortly, the UK and Australia will introduce the F-35 Lightning II into operation and it is possible that Singapore may look at the F-35 in the future. With Malaysia and Australia operating variants of the F/A-18, and Singapore operating the F-15SE and F-16, Typhoon offers a clear advantage for Malaysia in regards to current and future combat interoperability with these platforms.

Singapore does not operate the F-15SE…….Infact nobody operates the F-15SE………

Related post:

Malaysia to increase defense spending to modernise and upgrade their equipment

Malaysian defense: Budget hinders military asset procurement – defensenews.com

RMAF opens Sukhoi technical service centre in Gong Kedak

Saab looks to Gripen lease to kickstart Malaysia’s MRCA programme

Russia, Malaysia Set the Sights on Jointly Developing Military Hardware

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Russia may start building the new aircraft carrier as soon as customer approves the project

Russia develops new prospective aircraft carrier

20.03.2017

Specialists of the Krylov State Research Center developed the concept of a prospective aircraft carrier tentatively titled as the Storm.

According to representative of the research center, Vladimir Pepelyaev, Russia may start building the new aircraft carrier as soon as the customer approves the project and all questions related to finance are resolved.

The Krylov research center also develops a project of a light aircraft carrier, the combat capabilities of which will be a little inferior to those of the Storm vessel.

Most likely, the new aircraft carrier will be built at Sevmash ship-building enterprise.

According to Vladimir Pepelyaev, key parameters of the new ship (displacement, length, width, draft), as well as the composition of the air group, armament, power plant and technical means of the ship may vary.

“The multi-purpose aircraft carrier will have a total displacement of about 95,000 tons. Its length, width and draft will make up 330×42×11 meters. The width of the flight deck will be 85 meters,” Pepelyaev told Interfax.

He also added that full and endurance speeds of the aircraft carrier will make up 26-30 and 14 knots.

“The project stipulates for the autonomy of 90 days. The vessel will be able to carry a stock of jet fuel of up to 6,000 tons and the crew of up to 4,000 people. Storm Project aircraft carrier will be able to carry up to 90 aircraft and helicopters. The main power plant of the ship will operate on organic fuel.” Pepelyaev said.

Pravda.Ru requested an expert opinion from Victor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, member of the expert council, chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation:

“In my opinion, the construction of an aircraft carrier is not necessary for the near future.  It should be understood that the level of costs will be enormous. A gigantic ship like this does not exist by itself, so the matter does not relate to her construction only. One also needs to form the aircraft carrier strike group. This involves the creation of aviation units that will be based on the vessel. Russia does not have certain kind of aircraft for the purpose, such as long-range radiation detection aircraft or deck-based radio-electronic warfare aircraft.

“In addition, one should create a group of ships that will take part in joint operations with the aircraft carrier. Judging from the American experience, a group like that should consist of two or three cruisers and 6-7 smaller displacement vessel, plus one or two submarines. To crown it all, one will need to set up special ground-based infrastructure for the aircraft carrier and accompanying ships, as well as ship crews and aviation crews. Therefore, the cost of the construction of the aircraft carrier can thus increase seven or eight times. ”

“Is there any sense to compete with the USA at this point?”

“I see no reason to compete. A competition like this leads to a senseless arms race. I think that Russia will spend this money much more efficiently if we look for asymmetric answers and develop systems that will give us a possibility to curtail strike groups of American aircraft carriers.

Pravda.Ru

Original post pravdareport.com

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The only likely customer would likely be India!  If true that means India has tilted in favor of Russia more than USA……Earlier reported “Russian Storm rising: Building India’s supersized carrier” 

RITM-200 nuclear power plant

The power plant would likely be the RITM-200 nuclear power plant reactors built for Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika according to Russian sources.

12_ritm200

The project is a promising Russian aircraft carrier “Storm” 23000e. Russian Navy (Проект перспективного российского авианосца “Шторм” 23000э. ВМФ России)

Russian Navy planned to strengthen the new multi-purpose heavy nuclear aircraft carrier (MTAA) “Storm”. Designing this unique ship carried Krylov State Research Center. With it, the Russian Navy will be able to deploy mobile base for a large air group in the most remote parts of the oceans.

Due to ice class, “Storm” is able to perform combat missions, not only in warm seas, but also strategically important, but it is bad development of the Arctic region, which lies up to 25% of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves. Aboard the aircraft carrier will be able to accommodate up to 90 aircraft for various purposes, including the latest fighter planes, helicopters and aircraft radar reconnaissance.

With the air carrier will defend the naval version of the promising ground missile systems S-500. This SAM can detect aerodynamic and ballistic targets at a range of 800 km and hit targets flying at a speed of up to 7000 meters per second. Under the water the aircraft carrier “will cover” the latest means of torpedo defense, information about where in the public yet.

According to the declared data, the length of “Storm” will be 330 meters, width – 40 meters, depth – 11 meters, displacement – 95 thousand tons.. Aircraft carrier with autonomy in the course of 120 days will be able to reach speeds of 30 knots (56 km / h). The movement of the ship will lead propulsion system of the mixed type, consisting of nuclear and gas turbine units. In total, the aircraft carrier will serve up to 5,000 crew members. The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has not yet signed a contract for construction of the “Storm”, so some of its basic parameters, depending on the wishes of the customer, may subsequently change.

It is also important to note that the carrier – it’s not the ship that goes through the seas alone. For its effective use of the Russian Navy will have to raise or re-build a full-fledged aircraft carrier groups. In her will should include at least two missile cruiser, three destroyers, two nuclear submarines and several supply ships. Also, carrier battle groups would require the construction of all necessary infrastructure for it.

Translated by google – Source arms-expo.ru

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Russia begins delivery of S-400 Triumf missile defense system to China

Russia supplies first S-400 missile systems to China

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 11:33:08 AM

Interfax news agency reported, citing First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy Vladimir Gutenyov that Russia has begun delivery of the S-400 Triumf missile defense system to China

“India is now asking about the S-400. We have put the first divisions in China,” he said.

According to Gutenyov, India and Turkey are “waiting in line” for the S-400.

China signed a contract to purchase the S-400 system in April 2015.

The S-400 missile system is comprised of three parts: a central control point, a radar system capable of tracking up to 300 targets, and anti-aircraft missile launchers.

It was previously reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the possibility of supplying the S-400 system to Turkey.

Original post uawire.org

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Russia and Indonesia negotiating over draft contract on the delivery of Su-35 Flanker

Russia, Indonesia Launch Draft Contract Talks on Delivery of Su-35 Fighters

12:17 21.03.2017

Russia and Indonesia launched negotiations over a draft contract on the delivery of Russian Su-35 Flanker multirole fighters to Jakarta, the deputy director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) told Sputnik.

LANGKAWI (Sputnik) — The Su-35 fighter was developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Company aircraft manufacturer between 2003 and 2008. It was first introduced to a foreign audience at the 2013 Paris Air Show as a “4++ generation” heavily-upgraded derivative of the Su-27 multirole fighter.

“Currently, negotiations are underway to agree on a draft contract for the supply of Su-35 aircraft to the Republic of Indonesia. We hope that the signing will take place in the near future,” Mikhail Petukhov said.

Petukhov, who heads the Russian delegation at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition LIMA-2017, said the number of Su-35s to deliver would be after finalizing the contract terms.

Media reports suggested late last year that Indonesia could buy up to 10 Russian-made multirole superiority fighters.

Original post sputniknews.com

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