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Indonesia has not yet inked Su-35 contract
November 20, 2018
Photo source: United Aircraft Corporation

Indonesia has not yet inked Su-35 contract

Mikhail Petukhov, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Miltiary-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said that contract negotiations between Russia and Indonesia for the sale of 11 Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role fighters to the latter are still ongoing.

Speaking to the Russian news agency TASS, Petukhov outlined that Russia had fulfilled Jakarta’s regulatory requirements (such as offset expectations), and that the two sides were now “determined to successfully conclude the negotiations.”

IHS Jane’s reports that the main issue stalling a contract signature is a dispute over the commodities the Indonesian side is offering to Rostec, which had agreed to purchase $570 million U.S. in Indonesian goods.

Under the $1.14 billion U.S. contract, Rostec – a state-owned Russian company overseeing Russia’s state-owned defence vendors – is to purchase $570 million in Indonesian commodities, such as rubber, while also investing $400 million in Indonesia’s aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry.

On the surface, the major ‘sell’ of the Su-35 for Indonesia was the potential of incurring a net-foreign or hard-currency outflow of $175 million, with $970 million ‘returning’ to Indonesia through activity for its commodities industry and aircraft MRO base.

The Su-35 was sought to supplant the Indonesian Air Force’s (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU) aging fleet of Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighters. The Su-35 is a twin-engine long-range fighter with a payload capacity of 8,000 kg across 12 external hardpoints.

In addition to the Su-35, the TNI-AU has reportedly been setting a follow-on requirement for several new multi-role fighter squadrons. To augment its fighter fleet, the TNI-AU is also exploring options for new in-flight refueling tankers, airborne early warning and control aircraft and transport aircraft.

In January 2018, PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) signed an agreement with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to jointly-develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). However, as a stopgap to an indigenous platform, PTDI is reportedly proposing a UAV based on the TAI Anka UAV to the Indonesian armed forces.