JAKARTA --- The Ministry of Defence has decided to replace a squadron or 16 units of F-5 Tiger Air Force aircrafts that will be grounded, with Sukhoi SU-35 fighter aircrafts from Russia.
"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 aircrafts,” said Minister Ryamizard 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 Wednesday, September 2.
The Ministry of Defence considered Sukhoi as a replacement for the F-5 Tiger, he said, because Air Force pilots are accustomed to flying Sukhoi.
"Now we have a American fighter aircrafts (F-16), Chinese, and Russian. We do not take blocks (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. "The purchase of the advanced fighter aircrafts that will be fitted with weapons."