Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has confirmed his intention to sign a contract on the purchase of the Su-35 multi-purpose fighter jets during his upcoming visit to Russia in the next few days, according to the Russian news agency TASS.
The minister made this statement in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, Tass said.
Ryacudu said he hoped to finalize a deal to buy between 8 and 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets in a trip to Russia in early April. Ryacudu said previously Indonesia needed a squadron of fighters, but for the first stage of cooperation this number would be sufficient.
The Indonesian government had been considering purchasing Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-16V, BAE Systems Plc’s Eurofighter Typhoon or Saab AB’s Gripen.
The minister also said Indonesia would continue looking to various countries for procurement. "We will buy from Europe and America, from Russia also," he said. "We don’t prioritize. The important thing is if we need them, and the research backs it up, we will buy. We are replacing old planes, not adding new ones."
Russian weapons are widely used by the Indonesian army. The country’s Air Force uses the Su-27 and Su-30 fighters. The Su-35 would replace the outdated American aircraft F-5 Tiger that has been used by the Indonesian military since 1980.
Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec announced on November 19, 2015 it had signed a deal for the delivery of 24 Su-35 fighter jets to China, which would be the first foreign customer to buy these planes.