Indonesia has announced that it abandoned plans to purchase jet fighters from Moscow in favor of far more expensive and less technological advanced US and French warplanes.
The fear of US sanctions impacted this horrible decision, local media said. Citing Indonesia’s Air Force chief Prasetyo regarding the Sukhoi Su-35, with a heavy heart, yes, we have abandoned that plan. We can’t just keep talking about it.
Benar News quoted Air Marshal Fadjar 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 @ purchasing F-15EX Eagle II’s 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.
Under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), Washington can impose sanctions on nations buying arms from Russia. So far the USA cannot deny the Indonesian statement because they already announced CAATSA threat to everyone in the world.
In October, several US senators urged the White House to waive possible CAATSA sanctions against India, allowing New Delhi to purchase and receive Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. However, the decision on the waiver has not been formally made so far.
Indonesia actually prefer SU-35 over F-15 EX . However, the Indonesian government is already spend so much money and struggling to finish many various infrastructure projects all over Indonesia at the same time before the pandemic.
Indonesia has been considering the purchase of 11 Su-35’s since 2015, but the deal has not progressed. Meanwhile, the country has examined several other options, including the Lockheed Martin F-35A, the F-16V, and the ex-Austrian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon.
However, recently the selection was narrowed down to the Dassault Rafale, for which Indonesia signed a letter of intent in June 2021, and the F-15EX, the latest model of the long-serving American heavy fighter.
The Indonesian Air Force currently operates a colorful collection of American F-16 fighter jets of A, B, C and D models, a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30, a South Korean KAI T-50, and a British Hawk 200 light combat aircraft.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.