Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) wants more sophisticated fighter jets, such as Russias Sukhoi SU-35s, to replace its F-5 Tigers, Chief of the Air Force Vice Marshall Agus Supriatna has said.
He added that the Russian-made Sukhoi SU-35 meets the requirements of TNI-AUs weaponry system, Supriatna said after opening a leadership meeting of the air force here on Wednesday.
He expressed hope that the government will fulfill the desire of the air force and purchase Sukhoi SU-35s to reinforce its weaponry system to ensure security in the Indonesian airspace.
“We hope the government fulfills our wish to purchase Sukhoi SU-35s. All can place orders, but we, as the operators, want jets over generation 4 to be ordered,” the air force chief remarked.
One of the reasons the TNIAU wants to purchase these jets is that they will be much easier for the air force to maintain.
“We hope our technicians do not face any problems with the Sukhoi planes. It is important that we purchase jets from the newer generations,” Supriatna noted.
Furthermore, the Russian government supports Indonesias wish to buy the multipurpose fighter jet Sukhoi SU-35 to enhance the countrys air force.
“We hope the agreement to buy SU-35s can be realized. Military cooperation between the two countries was established a long time ago. We want to maintain that,” Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Mikhail Galuzin said late last month.
The ambassador added that the Russian government was ready for the same if Indonesia decided to buy Su-35s.
In addition, Galuzin pointed out that there was also potential for cooperation to be achieved between the two nations in various fields, including construction, military, and nuclear energy.
“Russia believes that there is potential for cooperation with Indonesia in the construction and military sectors, among others. Also, if Indonesia is willing, we are ready to help in the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Galuzin stated.
The Indonesian government is still deliberating over whether it should buy new fighter jets to replace the old F-5 E Tigers.
Indonesian Military Commander Moeldoko listed several options for new fighter jets, such as Sukhoi SU-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, and F-16 Block 52+.
Currently, the country operates two types of Sukhoi jets, the Su-27 and Su-30 MK2, which stand by at the Sultan Hasanuddin Airbase of Makassar.(*)