MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Indonesia's Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu confirmed that the Indonesian government intends to buy 10 Russian Su-35 (NATO reporting name Flanker-E) multirole fighters, Indonesian media reported Wednesday.
"The purchase of the fighters must be done smartly, starting with a few, as purchasing everything at once means it will be delivered five or ten years down the line anyway," Ryacudu said, as quoted by the Kompas daily newspaper.
In late January, the defense minister announced plans to visit Russia in April in order to continue discussions on the procurement of the fighters. Ryacudu first announced Jakarta’s intention to purchase the aircraft to replace the country's aging fleet of US-made Northrop F-5 Tiger II fighters in September, 2015.
In October 2015, the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade reported that Western companies had intensified their efforts to persuade Indonesia to purchase their aircraft following Ryacudu's September announcement.
The supermaneuverable Su-35 fighter was developed by Russia's Sukhoi Company aircraft manufacturer between 2003-2008. It was first introduced to a foreign audience at the 2013 Paris Air Show as a "4++ generation" heavily-upgraded derivative of the Su-27 multirole fighter.