Skip to content Skip to footer

Indonesia confirms talks with Russia for Su-35s

Indonesia’s Minister of Defence Ryamizard Ryacudu confirmed to state media outlet Antara News that the Indonesian government is in talks with Russia for eight Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role fighters.

As per Antara News, Moscow and Jakarta are currently locked in discussions over the price for the eight aircraft, which are expected to replace the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU)’s Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs.

In addition to the aircraft, Indonesia is also seeking transfer-of-technology and co-production benefits.

The Su-35 is the latest iteration of the venerable Flanker-line developed and originally produced by Sukhoi. Following an industry reorganization effort, the Su-35 and its sibling variant the Su-30 are now produced by United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

The Flanker-E honours its predecessors’ long-range (3,600 km) and high-payload (8,000 kg) characteristics, but it is configured with current-day subsystems, improved turbofan engines, and improved airframe.

The Irbis-E passive electronically-scanned array (PESA) radar can track targets with a radar cross-section (RCS) of 3m2 from up to 400 km. The Irbis-E can track up to 30 airborne targets and engage 8 at once.

Notes & Comments:

During Indo-Defence 2016, which is Indonesia’s marquee defence exhibition, several aerospace vendors had pitched their respective offerings for the TNI-AU’s F-5E replacement program. At the time, Jakarta set the budget for the program at $1.5 billion U.S. for 16 aircraft.

Lockheed Martin had positioned the F-16V, equipped with the AN/APG-83 active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, as a logical choice considering Indonesia’s recent procurement of surplus F-16C/Ds.

Saab offered its JAS-39 Gripen, but with its Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) and strong network integration expertise in tandem.

UAC was slotted in a strong competitor with its Su-35 Flanker-E, which the Indonesian Ministry of Defence had sought as early as September 2015.

IHS Jane’s reports that Ryacudu justified the selection of the Su-35 because the TNI-AU had developed considerable familiarity with flying Russian combat aircraft, most notably the Su-27SK and Su-30MK.

Indonesia’s procurement strategy, at least in regards to the TNI-AU, has been one of diversity. While it is not pursuing the F-16V, the TNI-AU did procure 24 surplus F-16C/Ds from the U.S. as well as 16 T-50 Golden Eagle lead-in fighter-trainers from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

In effect, Jakarta is not turning away from available U.S. equipment, it is embracing it, yet also balancing its suppliers such that it is not critically reliant on one. Whether this balancing act will preclude the TNI-AU from all Western fighters, or at least those reliant on critical American components (such as engines), remains to be seen.

Show CommentsClose Comments


  • by Farooq Hussain Toor
    Posted December 12, 2016 7:46 pm 0Likes

    Well well well if Indonesia can get su-35 Pakistan should go to China and ask them to put pressure on Russia to get some flanker-e’s

  • by ahmria
    Posted December 13, 2016 6:28 am 0Likes

    Hello everyone,
    I am new to the discussion forum of Quwa but have been a regular visitor to the site which I think is very informative. This is my first post and I just want to say what a great site it is. Back to the topic at hand. I think this is a great step forward for Turkey and Turkish defence independence. I think MT is being a bit unfair towards Turkey. Yes this missile system may have foreign components but I think in the long term all of these components will be developed and built in Turkey unlike the Israeli Barak system that India has bought and is claiming to be indigenous.

  • by Shakeel
    Posted December 13, 2016 7:45 am 0Likes

    Welcome to Quwa Ahmria. The problem is that some people think that it is their divine right to nullify other people achievements, whilst they think that gravity evolves only around their backyards.

    Can you also copy & paste your post on the Hisar Rocket article, so that our ‘geeks’ from a certain part of the world can understand.

    Thank you!

  • by Sinan Cagrı Kurt
    Posted December 13, 2016 10:48 am 0Likes

    İris E(su35s radar) looks like have better range than any other radar(both pesa or Aesa). But that is Russian claim and These numbers doesn’t seem very realistic to me.

  • by Andrei Romanov
    Posted December 13, 2016 11:38 am 0Likes

    Good good come join us.
    Quwa is great place for defense discussions.

  • by Andrei Romanov
    Posted December 13, 2016 11:41 am 0Likes

    Simply you can say it’s the best radar between any aesa radars or pesa radars.

  • by Andrei Romanov
    Posted December 13, 2016 11:46 am 0Likes

    Bro believe me all that you read or hear about İris-E is true.
    We are not westerns , we are weak at propaganda.

  • by Andrei Romanov
    Posted December 13, 2016 11:48 am 0Likes

    Shakeel, Thanks for praising ahmria.

  • by Headstrong
    Posted December 13, 2016 12:25 pm 0Likes

    Hi ahmria. I doubt you’ll be able to quote a source which states that India claims the Barak system is indigenous. Heck, it’s even an Israeli name!
    What you write about Turkey’s aspirations is much on the same lines that India is thinking. But that’s not an easy sell here….

  • by Shakeel
    Posted December 13, 2016 1:34 pm 0Likes

    Welcome Andrei. Nice to hear from you.

  • by ahmria
    Posted December 13, 2016 4:05 pm 0Likes

    It’s not really an official thing but certain parts of the Indian media and the defence establishment from what I have read seem to think that they had a major hand in putting together the Barak system when it just seems that they have paid for the technology and replaced a few components with Indian made ones. Just because something is assembled in a country doesn’t mean it’s indigenous.

  • by Narendranath Gopalakrishnan
    Posted December 14, 2016 4:34 am 0Likes

    Hi,I think you are a bit confused here.There are two versions of the Barak missile shield systems.Barak-1& Barak-8 While Barak-1 is originally developed by Israel,Barak-8 is an advanced version jointly developed by Indian-Isreali joint vencture. Designed by Israel Aerospace Industries &
    Defence Research and Development Organisation(India) &
    Manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Isreal) &
    Bharat Dynamics Limited(India).

  • by Sinan Cagrı Kurt
    Posted December 14, 2016 11:28 am 0Likes

    Russians are weak at propaganda? Now I’ve heard everything. Lol..

    The problem is radar with such capacity should be impractically bigger than Russian claims. A lot bigger or you should have done something revulitonary in pesa development. But I didn’t hear any paper published with such revulitonary ideas. But I am not saying specs are wrong that just gives everybody but skeptism. Which is something healthy.

  • by Steve
    Posted December 25, 2016 7:55 am 0Likes

    Great that you are jointly producing missiles. Could you give us an idea of which bit of Barak-8 is actually Indian in development? I mean what percentage? Is it not just licensed production and labelling, like Onyx/Yakhont?

Leave a comment