Indonesia has reiterated its desire to order 16 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters to replace its aging fleet of Northrop F-5Es.
Defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu says the air force’s familiarty with the Su-27, of which Jakarta has 16, was a key influencer in the air force’s decision for the Su-35. His comments were carried by state news agency Antara.
He adds that the acquisition will take place “gradually” and depends on the availability of funds. Jakarta will also require technology transfer as part of the any order, which is still contingent on government approval.
In January 2014, Ryacudu’s predecessor as defence minister said that Indonesia was looking at several types of fighters to replace the F-5Es. Types considered include the Boeing F-15, Lockheed Martin F-16, Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Su-35.
Flightglobal’s MiliCas database shows that Indonesia’s fixed wing combat aircraft fleet includes eight Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucanos, six F-5Es, eight F-16s, 14 BAE Systems Hawk 209s, and 16 Su-27s.
Longer term, Jakarta hopes to obtain 80 Korea Aerospace Industries KFX fighters. The KFX is a developmental twin-engined fighter that will be developed by South Korea. Seoul, which wants to buy 120 KFXs, has an 80% share in the programme, and Jakarta 20%.
The Su-35 has yet to lock down its first foreign customer, but China is also interested in buying 24 examples.