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Indonesia will acquire 11 Su-35 Flanker-E fighters from Russia
August 23, 2017
Su-35. Photo credit: United Aircraft Corporation

Indonesia will acquire 11 Su-35 Flanker-E fighters from Russia

Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu announced that Jakarta will purchase 11 Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role fighters from Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

The statement was made following a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office on July 26. Ryacudu added that negotiations with Moscow took two years (via state-owned Antara News)

Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence announced that it would pursue a squadron of Su-35s in September 2015 to supplant its legacy Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs. Defence Minister Ryacudo confirmed in December 2016 that talks for the fighters with co-production and technology-transfer benefits.

In June, Rostec’s Director of International Cooperation and Regional Policy Viktor Kladov told the Russian News Agency TASS that Jakarta and Moscow had concluded a contract for eight Su-35s.

Indonesia will be the Su-35’s second overseas buyer following China. The Su-35s will join the Indonesian Air Force’s (TNI-AU) Su-30MKK/MK2 and Su-27 Flankers. Ryacudu added that Jakarta was also planning to acquire new armed drones. As per Indonesian officials, these will come from China.

The Su-35 Flanker-E is the latest variant of the Sukhoi Flanker-series of heavyweight twin-engine fighter aircraft. It is powered by two 117S turbofan engines with thrust-vectoring nozzles.

With the Irbis-E passive electronically-scanned array radar, the Su-35 can detect targets (with radar cross-sections of 3m2) up to 400 km away. The fighter has 12 external hardpoints, enabling a payload of 8,000 kg. It can carry a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions.

Since its introduction, the Su-35 has garnered international interest from Russia’s traditional armament buyers and prospective customers. In April, the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov reportedly told TASS that the United Arab Emirates was interested in “several dozen” Su-35s.

Pakistan has also been slotted as a potential Su-35 customer, especially following Washington’s refusal to subsidize a sale of eight Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block-52 in May 2016. Pakistani officials responded to the matter by stating they would seek alternatives from China or Russia.

In September 2016, Rosonboronexport said that it was not negotiating with Islamabad for the Su-35.

In April, the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman stated in an interview with Bol Narratives that the PAF “has to induct new aircraft” and that it has “some of the leading options both in China and Russia.” This was the first instance of the PAF officially confirming the possibility of acquiring Russian platforms, though the CAS did not specify the Su-35.

UAC is also pitching its Su-30SME and MiG-35 Fulcum-F to the world market. The latter is being positioned as an affordable high-tech solution for developing world air forces.

  • Steve

    We need only 2-3 squadrons of Su-35 for long range maritime operations. Our Air Force’s future lies with Gen 5. TFX, J-31 or indigenous.

    • Salman

      TFX it is, if Erdogan manages beyond 2020, and don’t think your Mohammedan values will win in a civilised country. He’ll lose. China will give J-31 as late as we got the Chinese MiG 21 while still operating J-6s until 2002; Pakistan doesnt and wont get any wholly Chinese equipment unless the Chinese play with it for years and years, and let’s be honest here, the Chinese with all the semi senpai culture can’t even copy something properly. How’s their thrust vectoring engines coming up?
      And…indigenous. No we are just capable of assembling a K-8. Stop being hyperbolic in your wishes.

      • Wth? I didn’t see an insult or personal attack in Steve’s post. So … what’s with the condescending comment “stop being hyperbolic in your wishes” ? Your comment above (re: SCO) may have been tongue and cheek, but this one was completely unnecessary.

        • Salman

          I agree, that I should have added “We should” in the last sentence, and I am fully aware of PAC capabilties, but the point I wanted to make was…”We should stop being too hyperbolic in our wishes”, and it is true. Our country is in a scientific draught since ages now, and flying off any foreign acheivement and rather great (political) generosity shouldn’t make any of us too proud. And the point of assembly is correct, or even of, production. We never make an initial blue print of anything in our armed forces’ equipment and it is something that most of us dont realise.

          • That’s all fair and well, but Steve’s post – and to be honest most of the articles on this very website – don’t ask for celebration. We are just trying to understand what we have today and what can be done with what is apparently available to keep moving forward.

            Everyone here is free to call for solutions to fundamental problems and all, but please realize that on a website that’s just reviewing defence news as it comes and tries to understand its direct (or maybe indirect implications 1 or 2 leagues removed) isn’t going to propel that change into being. This isn’t a political party nor does it have the ear of the most important decision-makers. So don’t expect us to drop what we’re here to examine to religiously reiterate what we already understand.

          • jigsaw

            Thank you for that one as well.

          • Steve

            Well appreciated

        • jigsaw

          Thank you for that reply.

  • Syed Arbab Shah

    1. Is this true that Russia was indeed offering SU 35 but not the latest version in use by the RuAF?
    2. Why can’t we just buy about half a dozen SU 35 do develop tactics against the future Super Sukhois?

    • Steve

      I do not think Russia is offering anything…yet. This is a decision to be made at Putin level. What is needed is a high level political and diplomatic lobbying effort using Chinese influence and our membership of SCO. American behaviour with both China and Russia getting increasingly p**sed off could be used. India is at a disadvantage here as they are increasingly seen as an American ally in the region. We need to project an image of them being a American Trojan horse in SCO and reduce their political clout. Don’t see any concerted effort though, only the usual incompetence, corruption, and political infighting. Shahbaz will spend all his energy in keeping NS out of jail and trying to resurrect him. Have to wait till middle of next year to get any coherent message out of our government.

      • Headstrong

        ‘We need to project an image of them being a American Trojan horse in SCO and reduce their political clout’
        Lol! Best of luck with that…. 🙂

        • Salman

          He’s talking like he sits there XD

      • Deepak Srivastava

        India isn’t at disadvantage. We are buying Rafales. It is good Indonesia us buying this but they’ll get just a normal Su35, unlike India who modified their ordinary su30mki with Israeli, french equipments.

    • 1. This info is unverified. The quote in the article is the first instance of the PAF openly talking about Russian fighters, much less specifying the type or configuration.

      2. If that were possible, the PAF doesn’t have the resources to set an entire maintenance channel for just six fighters.

  • killua gon

    This article is right that Indonesia has decided to buy 11 SU 35s for fulfill their army equipment and they will buy several varshavyanka/kilo submarine, I got these information from Indonesia local news also russia news

  • Deepak Srivastava

    Good news ☺

  • Lasit

    Bilal, we rarely see any news on Indian defence and any other related entities.

    is it a selective bias, or you think there is nothing worth happening for your readers to cover in the site ?

    i really believe that it is always good to know your enemy more than yourself…

    • Lasit,

      My window for working on Quwa related stuff is about 2-4 hours a day. There’s a limit to how much I can cover. There are Pakistanis who ask me to write about a lot of things as well, and I generally don’t follow-up on those requests unless I am in a position of doing a really good job at it.

    • My window for Quwa is varies and for some months it is quite limited. You will notice that even the output as of late is lighter than what it had been earlier. There are even days (like today) where I can’t write due to other priorities.

      • Lasit

        Point taken Bilal. you may want to add more hands in that case. i strongly believe there are enough neutral and like minded defence news enthusiast, who can help you in that regard.. you can count me as one of them 🙂

        Keep up the good job.

        • Steve

          Unfortunately it is extremity rare to find unbiased Indian writers in any publication anywhere. Now that is not a validated survey but it’s not required, as everyone can read and has been given some understanding of how adversaries function. Even when they are ‘neutral’ they subtly skew the narrative to Pakistan’s detriment. It may be only oblique and ‘true’ as we have many problems. However the end result also is that Pakistan somehow does not come out looking good. There are scores of websites waxing lyrical about Indian defence purchases etc. and the country in general, and a lot of Indian writers in Western media doing the same. I for one definitely don’t want to hear more of that rapturous estatic praise. QUWA is becoming popular, is regularly quoted, and is a place where we can openly express our views. So thanks for the ‘foot in the door’ offer lol. Next thing I know I will be banned for my well known views lol.

          • Lasit

            Steve, your first sentence of the comment was full bias and presumptions, which is sad to see.

            your second sentence, and i quote “Now that is not a validated survey but it’s not required, as everyone can read and has been given some understanding of how adversaries function” – is showing the general character of your nation (me being bias here), where assumptions and presumptions are made not basis facts and figures, but basis some inherited notions.

            If the admin is of the view that Quwa is “by Pakistanis, for pakistanis”, I am really happy to hear that as well.

          • Headstrong

            Get a life, ‘Steve’.

          • Alright. You’ve all got a say, any responses on this issue from here on will be deleted.

          • Steve

            Fair enough

          • Steve

            Fair enough. Purpose achieved 😉

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