US pressure paid off: Indonesia rejected Russian Su-35s

JAKARTA, ($1=14,413.50 Indonesian Rupiahs) – The US Congress announced in a recent report the final termination of the Indonesian contract for the supply of 11 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighters [NATO code “Flanker-E”], learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

As detailed in Defense Analysis, the order, initially evaluated in 2012, was then deepened three years later, in March 2015, when local Air Force [TNI-AU] leaders decided to replace obsolete US fighters. The F-5 Tiger, which they have already served for more than 40 years, significantly exhausting their flying lives and then protracted by the numerous negotiations between Jakarta and Moscow, which took place in the following years until the signing of the $ 1.14 billion contracts, signed in February 2018

As you know, Moscow and Jakarta also agreed on the methods of payment for the 11 Su-35s: 50% of the amount will be offset by the supply to Russia of local products, mainly agricultural goods, including palm oil, but also rubber derivatives, footwear, paper, resins, plastics and products for the defense industry.

Indonesia has already deployed Sukhoi Su-27SKM / SKM2 and Su-30MK/MK2 bombers for several years.

The delivery of the client’s aircraft was to be completed within two years from the date of signing the contract in two separate phases: 8 Su-35s in the first year and three in the second year.

Finally, the latest action in this long history: early last year, TASS reported that Indonesian authorities had abandoned all plans to acquire the Su-35 due to US pressure, threatening to sanction Jakarta with the help of Countering America’s Adversaries Through the Sanctions Act [CAATSA], a provision that sanctions those countries that buy equipment from the Russian defense industry.

The following July, Rosoboronexport proposed a plane crash, but apparently to no avail, as the Indonesian Ministry of Defense drew up a plan last April to purchase weapons for TNI-AU, revealing the possibility of purchasing a series of platforms “Generation 4 ++”, including Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, and F-15, all as part of a strategic plan to increase Indonesia’s air defense capabilities.

Therefore, China currently remains the only foreign customer to own the Su-35, although the first copies may have already been delivered to Egypt.

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