Indonesia’s Air Force is planning to buy six more Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia to reinforce the country’s aerial defense capability.
Marshal Imam Sufaat, the Air Force’s chief of staff said the purchase would be on the Defense Ministry’s long-term agenda, but was not sure when the plan would be implemented.
He said the proposal was already approved by the country’s president, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“The existing squadron of Sukhois remains insufficient to give a deterrent effect given our vast territory,” Imam told the Antara news agency. He added that Indonesia lagged behind Malaysia, which has 18 Sukhois despite its smaller territory than its Southeast Asian neighbor.
The Indonesian Air Force has sent its pilots to Russia and China to learn how to operate the fighter jet.
Indonesia bought three Russian fighter jets in 2003. The $300 million contract signed in August 2007 stipulated the delivery of six Su-30MK fighter planes. Three aircraft were delivered in February 2009, another two were handed over to Indonesia on September 10, and one was taken to Indonesia on Thursday.
- The Jakarta Post