The official representative of the Indonesian Air Force, Novyan Samyoga, stated that the U.S. sanctions could cause issues to the Indonesian procurement contract for 11 Russian Su-35 fighter jets, reported the British publication Jane's.
Samyoga explained that if Washington imposes tough sanctions against Jakarta for the purchase of military equipment from Moscow, Indonesia would be forced to buy "Western-made fighters". The representative of the Air Force added that in this case, Indonesia would have no choice but to break the already signed contract with Russia.
Jane's notes that the Su-35 replacement could be an American fighter Viper F-16, which is manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation.
In February, Indonesia signed a contract for the delivery of eleven Russian Su-35s fighters. A few months earlier, the United States implemented the "The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" (CAATSA). This Act involves imposing sanctions against the buyers of Russian defense equipment as a response to Russia's interference in the United States 2016 presidential elections. In the spring of 2018, CAATSA added Rosoboronexport to the sanctions list.
“We must combine Eastern and Western fighter jets,” said Novyan Samyoga.
“The political situation is unstable, and we need a balance that will allow us to use airplanes made in the East if problems arise with the West. We have been under sanctions before, so we understand the need for this balance, ” the official added.
From the 1990s to 2005, the United States implemented sanctions against Indonesia due to human rights violations by the Indonesian military in East Timor. Due to these restrictive measures, Jakarta was unable to purchase spare parts for F-16 fighters and C-130 transport aircraft for the service of the country.
In early October, the newspaper Kommersant, citing three sources, reported about the difficulties that had arisen in the implementation of the contract signed by Indonesia and Russia. According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, the contract remained in legal force, but its implementation had to be postponed. According to the plan, deliveries were to be carried out within two years, with the first aircraft planned to be delivered to Indonesia as early as October.
Later, the head of the Indonesian Defense Ministry, Ryamizard Ryacudu, said that Indonesia would “never cancel” deal with Russia, explaining that the parties need to resolve their last coordination issues.
The contract for the supply of Su-25 was estimated at $ 1.1 billion. According to the newspaper Vedomosti, Jakarta must pay half of the contract price in palm oil and rubber supplies.