Indonesia to Buy 8 Russian Sukhoi Jet Fighters

April 2nd, 2006  

Topic: Indonesia to Buy 8 Russian Sukhoi Jet Fighters

Indonesia’s Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said on Wednesday, March 29, that in 2006-2009 his country plans to annually purchase two Sukhoi jet fighters from Russia. The minister said the purchase aims at anticipating possible ban by western countries of buying spare parts of military equipment.

“The plan is (to buy) two planes per year up to 2009. We anticipate the possibility of imposing embargo by western countries,” Juwono said, quoted by the Xinhua agency.

Currently, Indonesia had four Sukhoi planes bought from Russia. By 2009 the country will have 12 jets.

The minister said Indonesia has rejected similar offer from some Eastern European countries and insists to buy from Russia, as both sides once had official military cooperation.

Indonesian military had been embargoed on military equipment purchase by the United States, following the accusation of gross violation of human rights during the referendum for Independence in East Timor in 1999. The ban was lifted recently due to Indonesia’s seriousness in combating terrorism and reform of the military force.

MosNews has also reported on Wednesday that Russia has offered Indonesia a $1 billion loan to finance modernization of its military. If the Indonesian government approves the loan, Indonesian military will spend $200 million of this sum to buy Russian Mi-17 combat helicopters.