Half of the US$ 1.14 billion deal will be paid with a barter scheme. In recent years, Indonesia has turned to Russia to upgrade its air force, turning down the offer of US F-16s. Since 2013, the Kremlin has supplied the Indonesian Air Force with five Su-27 and eleven Su-30 aircraft.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The US $ 1.14 billion agreement to buy Sukhoi Su-35 jets from Russia will not alter relations with Washington, this according to Indonesian Air Force Chief Air Marshal Yuyu Sutisna.
Indonesia will become the first member of the Association of South-East Nations (ASEAN) to fly Russia’s modern jet fighters, which are superior to US F-22A Raptors.
The purchase is based on a barter scheme defined by Government Regulation UU 16/Year 2012 on defence industry, said Indonesia Defence Minister General (ret) Ryamizard Ryacudu. The rule requires the seller to purchase some Indonesian commodities for the modern weapons.
"This is the first time that we have applied the new policy of trade agreements with foreign nations," Ryacudu said.
Indonesian Commerce Minister Enggartiasto Lukito said that Russia has not issued their list of interest to buy Indonesian commodities products. “From this business purchase deal,” Lukito said, “35% is pure financial payment, 50 % barter.”
Under its terms, Indonesia would export commodities worth of US$ 570 million from the grand total of US$ 1.14 billion.
Russian state-owned Rostec has agreed to buy more Indonesian commodities including rubber, coffee, cacao, tea, fish, furniture, copra, spices.
Over the past few years, Indonesia has come to rely on Russia to upgrade its air force, turning down the US offer to sell F-16 jet fighters.
Between 1999 and 2005, Washington and London imposed an embargo on weapons sale to Jakarta over its human rights violations in East Timor, which it annexed in 1975.
The embargo caused major loss of capability to several Indonesian fighter jets.
Since 2013, the Kremlin has provided five Su-27 and eleven Su-30 to the Indonesian Air Force, which in recent years Indonesian authorities have showed off during Armed Forces Day (pictured).