JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia has scrapped its plan to purchase Russian Sukhoi-35 fighter jets due to budget concerns. Instead, the government is now eyeing French Rafale fighter jets and Boeing F-15 EX fighter jets.
“Regarding the Sukhoi-35, it is with a heavy heart we have to drop the plans,” said Air Force chief of staff Air Chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo on Wednesday, Dec. 22 at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base premises in Jakarta.
Fadjar said that one of the reasons that the government will likely purchase the Rafale jet fighter aircraft by Dassault Aviation and Boeing F-15 EX fighter jet was the budget. “From the start, it was mentioned that to develop airpower we rely on budget. If the people who are responsible for the purchase are not keen on [the Sukhoi fighter jets], we can’t continue the discussion and it will likely be [changed to] Rafale,” said Fadjar.
Also read: Baca juga: Russia Remains Ready to Supply Sukhoi Fighter Jets to Indonesia
Many countries have shown their interest in buying the French Rafale fighter jets. Citing an example, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has previously acquired 80 units of Rafale jet fighter aircraft, he said.
“If we read international news, Rafale [fighter jets] have become more popular and with a strong financial condition, some countries can proceed with the purchase.”
Previously, it was reported that Indonesia planned to acquire 35 Rafale fighter jets and 8 fighter jets of F-15 EX. The issue began to surface last year.
Kompas.com reported that Russia was ready to supply its Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighters to Indonesia despite pressure from certain states, a Russian official said on Wednesday, July 21.
Bloomberg reported last year that the US strongly recommended Indonesia to drop deals on purchasing Russian-made fighter jets and Chinese naval vessels as part of a global effort to prevent its top adversaries from eroding the US’s military superiority. An Indonesian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Southeast Asia country decided against moving ahead with the plan to procure 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets worth about $1.1 billion.
(Writer: Achmad Nasrudin Yahya | Editor: Dani Prabowo)
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