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01:30 PM, March 12, 2018
US Pressured Indonesia to Abandon Su-35 Fighter Jet Contract with Russia
US Pressured Indonesia to Abandon Su-35 Fighter Jet Contract with Russia

The United States exerted pressure on Indonesia to abandon its negotiations with Russia for the supply of Su-35 fighter jets, a top Russian Presidential aide has said.

During an interview with Rossiya-24 TV Channel, Russian Presidential Aide for Military and Technical Cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said that despite the pressure from foreign countries, Russia has begun implementing a contract for the delivery of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to Indonesia.

"We are grateful to the military and political leadership of Indonesia for their firm position, which they have not been afraid to state openly, including to American partners, he said, adding that pressure on Indonesia "was huge".

According to Kozhin, "when everything was ready, American partners entered the scene and exerted unprecedented pressure on the Indonesian side to prevent this contract from taking place," Kozhin said.

"Nevertheless, the contract has been signed and we are starting to implement it," the presidential aide added.

Last month, Indonesia and Russia inked a contract to purchase 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets worth $1.14 billion. Indonesia defence ministry spokesman Totok Sugiharto said that the first two units of Sukhoi jets will be delivered in August 2018 and another six jets would be delivered 18 months after the contract comes into effect, and the final three a further five months later.

The deal was announced after Indonesia said in August 2017 that it would seek to trade palm oil, coffee and tea for Russian fighter jets, saying it wanted to capitalise on international sanctions on Moscow.

Su-35 is a Russian-made multipurpose generation 4++ super-maneuverable fighter jet equipped with a phased array radar and steerable thrusters. It can develop a speed of up to 2,500 kilometers per hour and has a flying range of 3,400 kilometers and a combat radius close to 1,600 kilometers. The fighter jet is armed with a 30mm gun and has 12 hardpoints for carrying bombs and missiles.

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