Indonesia will ink Su-35 Flanker-E fighter deal in November
November 29, 2023
Photo source: United Aircraft Corporation

Indonesia will ink Su-35 Flanker-E fighter deal in November

Indonesia’s Minister of Defence Ryamizard Ryacudu announced that the Indonesian government will sign its purchase of 11 Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role fighters in November.

Jakarta and Moscow agreed to the $1.14 billion purchase in August following approximately a full year in bilateral negotiations. The Su-35s will replace the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs.

To support the deal, Russia will issue offsets and countertrade with Indonesia.

In August, Rostec signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) with Indonesian trading company PT Perusahaan Perdagangan, in which Rostec will acquire Indonesian commodities and manufactures.

The countertrade element is expected to form upwards of 50% of the value of the fighter deal – i.e. Rostec will acquire $570 million U.S. in Indonesian goods. In addition, Russia will also issue $400 million in offsets in Indonesia, which will translate into investment in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities.

According to Thomas Lembong, the head of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Russia’s offsets will basically constitute 85% of the fighter purchase’s value (Antara News).

The net-foreign currency-outflow of the purchase would be approximately $175 million, with the remaining $970 million being spent in various sections of the Indonesian economy.

The Indonesian Military (TNI)’s general commander, Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo also stated that the TNI-AU will not accept the Su-35s unless they meet the force’s specifications (Antara News).

Manufactured by United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the Su-35 Flanker-E is a modern variant of the Sukhoi Flanker-series. Powered by two 117S turbofan engines with thrust-vectoring nozzles, the Su-35 can carry up to 8,000 kg in air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons distributed across 12 external hardpoints.

Indonesia is the second overseas customer of the Su-35, joining China, which bought 24 aircraft from UAC in November 2015 in a $2 billion deal. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reportedly planning to sign for a squadron of Su-35 fighters in 2017 as well.

Besides the Su-35, the TNI-AU also acquired 24 refurbished Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block-25s under the Excess Defence Articles (EDA) program for $750 million, including upgrades.