Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying that Indonesia expects the supplies of Russian Su-35 fighter jets to start by the end of 2019. Certain challenges in finalizing the contract are due to the fact that three departments of the republic are involved in the process.The Defense Ministry has signed all documents, whereas the Trade Ministry and Finance Ministry are still in the process of approval, which is connected with the fact that there will be different forms of payment. The Su-35 transaction consists of several elements consistent with Indonesia’s Defence Industry Law – also called Law 16 – through which the government seeks to secure offset-like benefits linked to defence procurement. The total value of the Su-35 contract, which features the supply of 11 aircraft, is USD1.14 billion. Half of the contract’s value, about USD570 million, is being financed through countertrade, with Indonesia expected to export to Russia a long list of commodities
Indonesia signed a contract to procure 11 Su-35s in February this year, just a few months after the US enacted the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which proposes sanctions on Russia’s defence customers in response to Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election and the annexation of Crimea. The signing of the contract with Indonesia to supply 11 Su-35 fighter jets was announced at the beginning of last year. The US government imposed sanctions on Indonesia through much of the 1990s until 2005 as a result of perceived Indonesian military human rights abuses in East Timor. The ban had a significantly detrimental effect on the TNI-AU, which was unable to procure parts for its fleets of US-made aircraft such as F-16s and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. The US has since repaired ties with Indonesia, but Jakarta now knows better than to put all its eggs in one basket. Indonesia is diversifying its arms imports, looking both to the USA and Russia.
Indonesia is the second foreign buyer of Russian Su-35 fighter jets. Reports emerged in early 2018 that Russia had signed a contract with Indonesia on the delivery of 11 fighters. The Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) is the designation for two improved derivatives of the Su-27 air-defence fighter. They are single-seat, twin-engine, supermaneuverable aircraft, designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and built by the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant. The Su-35S generation 4++ supersonic fighter jet performed its debut flight on February 19, 2008. The fighter jet is a derivative of the Su-27 plane. The Su-35S weighs 19 tonnes, has a service ceiling of 20,000 meters, can develop a maximum speed of 2,500 km/h and has a crew of one pilot. The fighter jet’s armament includes a 30mm aircraft gun, up to 8 tonnes of the weapon payload (missiles and bombs of various types) on 12 underwing hardpoints. The Su-35S has been in service with the Russian Air Force since 2015.