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​Jakarta inches closer to Su-35 order

Jakarta could finalise its order for 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters in the coming months.

In an interview with Indoneisan television, the nation's new air force chief of staff Yuyu Sutisna says that concluding the long-awaited acquisition is "something on our plate" and could be formalised in the coming months.

In August 2017, Jakarta confirmed that it will buy 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft for $1.14 billion, with a major component of the deal involving agricultural commodities.

Jakarta has previously expressed interest in 16 Su-35s, but this requirement appears to have been pared back.

The aircraft will replace Jakarta's six Northrop F-5E fighters. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that these aircraft have an average age of 38.7 years.

Sutsina's comments come following Jakarta's receipt of the 24th refurbished Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 25 aircraft from the United States, which saw 19 single seat "C" and five two seat "D" aircraft reconditioned for use by the Southeast Asian country. The country has just 23 F-16s, however, because one was lost in a crash.

The work was conducted at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and drew on former USAF and US Air National Guard F-16s.

Fleets Analyzer shows that Jakarta has 84 fixed-wing combat assets. Its fleet comprises 24 BAE Systems Hawk Mk. 209 single seat attack jets, 15 Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucanos, 23 F-16s , six F-5Es, five Su-27SKs and 11 Su-30MKs.

It also operates 15 Korea Aerospace Industries T-50I advanced jet trainers, and 14 KT-1 basic trainers. In addition, it has orders for two additional KT-1s.

Longer term, Jakarta hopes to obtain 80 Korea Aerospace Industries KFX fighters. The KFX is a developmental twin-engined fighter that will be developed by South Korea. Seoul, which wants to buy 120 KFXs, has an 80% share in the programme, and Jakarta 20%.

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