Last February, I wrote that Indonesia chose the Russian Su-35. Today, the Indonesian Defense Minister,Ryamizard Ryacudu, confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that his country will buy the supermaneuverable multirole fighters.
Ryacudu is expected to visit Russia and sign a contract with Suhkoi, acquiring between eight to ten Su-35.
Indonesia chose the Russian fighter over the Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-16V, BAE Systems Plc’s Eurofighter Typhoon or Saab AB’s Gripen.
That said, the Indonesian government will continue looking for military equipment around the world.
“We will buy from Europe and America, from Russia also,” said Ryacudu. “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.”
Indonesian Su-35 to bolster security in South China Sea?
Indonesia has been dealing with China in the South China Sea. As a matter of fact, the Indonesian Air Force is deploying five F-16 to the Natuna Islands to fend off the Chinese presence near the Island.
According to Bloomberg, Indonesia is also deploying marines, air force special force units, an army battalion, three frigates, a new radar system and drones to the Natuna Islands.
The Sukhoi Su-35 could be deployed in the Natuna Islands to patrol due to its radar capabilities.
The fact that Indonesia is choosing the Su-35 over Western aircraft is another proof that the Russian defence industry is thriving despite sanctions against Russia.