Indonesia has selected Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft to replace 16 F-5 Tiger aircraft.
"We (Armed Forces Commander and Air Force Chief) agreed to buy a squadron of Sukhoi SU-35 from Russia to replace F-5 Tiger fighter aircraft,” Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was quoted as saying by Tempo website.
The decision was made by Ryacudu after a surprise Army weaponry inspection in three units, namely Kopassus, Yonkav 1/1 Kostrad and Mechanised Infantry Battalion 201 Yudha Jaya, in Jakarta, on September 2.
The Ministry of Defense considered Sukhoi as a replacement for the F-5 Tiger, he said, because Air Force pilots are accustomed to flying Sukhoi.
If the deal goes through, it will be the first export of the Sukhoi Su-35 outside of Russia. China too is reported to be negotiating to buy the aircraft.
"Now we have American fighter aircrafts (F-16), Chinese, and Russian. We do not take sides,” he said.
The Sukhoi aircrafts purchase will be carried out in stages in accordance with the financial capacity of the state. "We wanted to buy one squadron, but it will be adjusted to the [financial] ability of the government," said Ryamizard.
The Former Army Chief of Staff said that in September 2015 there will be the purchase signing of the Sukhoi with the Russian side.
In the same place, the Director General of the Defense Planning Air Vice Marshal M. Syaugi said that the purchase of the new Sukhoi 35 will be through a transfer of technology (ToT) scheme with the Russian side.
"This is in accordance with existing rules that if we want to buy defense equipment there must be ToT. Everything will be tailored to [our budget] capability," said Syaugi.