Jakarta: Under a $350-million contract signed with Russia in 2007, Indonesia will receive three Su-family fighters by October this year, its air force chief of staff, Air Marshal Subandrio said. The contract, signed with Russian fighter aircraft design and manufacturing firm, Sukhoi, involves delivery of six multi-role Su-27 and Su-30 fighter aircraft.
"The three Sukhoi fighters from Russia are expected to arrive in Indonesia before the National Defense Forces (TNI) anniversary on October 5," the Antara news agency quoted Marshal Subandrio as saying.
Air Marshal Subandrio said that the three aircraft would become part of a fighter squadron based in Makassar, South Sulawesi. The squadron currently deploys two Su-27SK and two Su-30MK fighters.
Indonesia purchased the first four Sukhois, along with two Mi-35 helicopters in 2003, during Megawati Soekarnoputri's presidency.
"The new fighter aircraft from Russia will heighten the state of the Air Force`s operational readiness," Subandrio said.
Russia and Indonesia signed an agreement in September last year under which Indonesia would receive a $1 billion credit line from Russia for weapons sourced from that country.
According to Indonesian defence minister, Juwono Sudarsono, his country planned to utilise the credit to buy six Russian fighters, two Kilo-class submarines, and nine helicopters. Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, turned to Russia for sophisticated military hardware eight years ago, after being slapped with an arms embargo by the United States over alleged human rights violations.
Washington has since lifted the ban.