Indonesia is still mulling over its procurement project in which Russia’s Su-35 is being pitted against US’ F-35, and has not yet rejected the former as reported in the media.
“Russia has not received official notification of termination of Indonesian contract where it was to supply 11 Su-35 fighters to the country,” sources ffrom Russia’s aviation industry were quoted as saying by Vedomosti newspaper.
Mirroring the information, Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, also reportedly said that the deal had not been terminated and earlier reports that said so was “poorly verified.”
Yesterday, Indonesia’s deputy defense minister said that Jakarta was leaning towards F-35 purchase. “However, the Su-35 deal has not been canceled and we are under no pressure from the US to walk away from the deal,” Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, Indonesian deputy defense minister, said.
While it is known that the US is keen to sell Indonesia its F-16 aircraft, this is the first time it has been revealed Jakarta’s interest in the F-35. The falling price of the F-35 and surplus rendered from the Turkish order cancelation is forcing the US to open new markets for its front-line jet.
The F-35A stealth jet is only about 25%- 30% more expensive than the dated F-16 and offers features such as invisibility to enemy radar, networking with other ground, sea and air assets besides a plethora of modern weapons.
Indonesia has made it a priority of acquiring a command and control system to network all its land, sea and air platforms and an F-35 is built as part of a networked battle-space. Besides, Indonesia will have a technological edge in any confrontation with China should it deploy its F-35s.