JAKARTA --- The procurement of Russian-made Sukhoi SU-35 jet fighters and radar top the list of the first priority programs for the newly sworn-in Air Force chief of staff Air Marshall Yuyu Sutisna.
Speaking after his inauguration at the State Palace on Wednesday, Yuyu said he was waiting for the contract to be signed to procure 11 Sukhoi units that would replace the F5-E Tiger jet fighters.
"I want the Sukhoi [purchase contract] to be signed as soon as possible, hopefully this month," Yuyu told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
The Indonesian Military (TNI) had announced the planned acquisition of the 11 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker jet fighters last year. Russia has pledged to buy Indonesian commodities for half of the value of the contract, which was worth some US$1.14 billion, and provide a transfer-of-technology (ToT) worth another 35 percent.
Last week, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said the contract documents have been ready since early January and the signing would take place in Jakarta in the near future.
The Flanker deal is the first major arms deal during the presidency of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to adhere to the 2012 Defense Industry Law, which requires every foreign arms purchase to include a combined deal of 85 percent of countertrade, local content and offset. The local content is set at a minimum of 35 percent.
Yuyu, who was previously the Air Force deputy chief of staff, was sworn in on Wednesday to replace Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, who was appointed as TNI commander in December.