Russian Su-35 edged out by US & French fighter jets
Indonesia has announced that it abandoned plans to purchase jet fighters from Moscow in favor of US and French warplanes.
The fear of US sanctions impacted this decision, local media said, citing Indonesia’s Air Force chief.
“Regarding the Sukhoi Su-35, with a heavy heart, yes, we have abandoned that plan. We can’t just keep talking about it,” Air Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo told reporters on Wednesday.
Benar News quoted Prasetyo as saying that the decision was made because of a “protracted” acquisition process, and the fear that Indonesia may be hit by US sanctions for buying weapons from Moscow.
The $1.1 billion deal to replace obsolete F-5 Tiger aircraft with Russia’s highly maneuverable jet fighters was signed in 2018, but the implementation of the contract stalled.
Fadjar said Indonesia will be now looking at purchasing F-15EX Eagle IIs and French Dassault Rafale fighters. “The F-15 EX team has come to me and they told us if we signed an agreement today, we will receive the first units around 2027,” Fadjar said.
Under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), Washington can impose sanctions on nations buying arms from Russia.
In October, several US senators urged the White House to waive possible CAATSA sanctions against India, allowing New Delhi to purchase Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. However, the decision on the waiver has not been formally made so far.