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Indonesian defense minister confirms plans to purchase Su-35 fighters from Russia

Indonesia intends to buy 8-10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets
Sukhoi Su-35 fighter Marina Lystseva/TASS
Sukhoi Su-35 fighter
© Marina Lystseva/TASS

SINGAPORE, April 1. /TASS/. 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. The minister made this statement in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday.

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, Bloomberg reported. 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 The Su-35 would replace the outdated American aircraft F-5 Tiger that has been used by the Indonesian military since 1980.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.

By its aerodynamic design, the Su-35 is a two-engine high-wing aircraft with retractable tricycle-type landing gear and the nose gear strut. The Su-35 is equipped with AL-41F1S turbojet engines with an afterburner and a controlled thrust vector developed by Saturn research and production association in Rybinsk in the Yaroslav Region north of Moscow.

The 117S engine makes the Su-35 fighter jet a super-maneuverable plane. The engine was developed on the basis of its AL-31F predecessors mounted on Su-27 aircraft but features an increased thrust of 14.5 tons compared with the previous version’s 12.5 tons, better performance and reduced fuel consumption.

The Su-35 has 12 external bays for precision missiles and air bombs and two bays for electronic warfare containers.

The Su-35 fighter jet is armed with a whole set of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, as well as with various-caliber rockets and air bombs.

Generally, the Su-35 fighter aircraft does not differ from operational Su-30MK planes by its bomb and rocket weaponry but can eventually carry improved and new models of air bombs, including laser-guided bombs. The Su-35 fighter jet has a maximum combat load of 8,000 kilograms.

The Su-35 fighter jet is also armed with the GSh-30-1 30 mm gun with an ammunition load of 150 cartridges.