Jakarta is negotiating with the US to procure Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Indonesian officials revealed that Jakarta was looking for ways to negotiate with the US to buy the F-35 says Prabowo Subianto, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Indonesia learned GDC quoting CNN Indonesia.

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Indonesia is said to be interested in buying an F-35 because the fighter jet was developed in the Joint Strike Fighter program with other countries. The US-led program was also attended by Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Norway.

Defense Ministry documents outlined – Strategic Plan, White Paper, Defense Strategy, Defense Doctrine, and Defense Posture – as well as planning the MEF’s final stages. These documents inform Indonesia’s strategic challenges in the South China Sea and how it intends to address them.

Indonesian defense ministry official said in a statement to CNN Indonesia that if the country buys Su-35, the country will have no leverage over Chinese aggressive posture in the South China Sea,—Indonesia is looking to strengthen collaboration with the USA to maintain territorial integrity and control exclusive economic zones. The USA offered Indonesia F-16V Block 70 fighter aircraft,–recently delivered ScanEagle UAS and Utility Helicopter to provide maritime surveillance over Indonesian EEZ.

So far, Japan and Australia bought and operating F-35A in the pacific region ,while Singapore ordered 12 F-35B short takeoff and landing jets.

Ministry of Defense Mentioned Sukhoi's Purchasing Decision in the Hands of Jokowi
Sukhoi SU-35

“According to Deputy Defense Minister Trangongo, at this time Indonesia cannot buy airplanes from Russia. According to him, there are still some obstacles to the purchase plan. However, he did not want to report what obstacles Indonesia was facing when buying 11 fighters. “We still cannot buy because there are some obstacles,” he said. On the other hand, Trangongo said he was considering other options. He said that opportunities were opening to replace purchases of Russian aircraft with F-35 aircraft from the United States. “We are exploring the possibility of transferring purchases to the F-35 from the US,” he said, – reported CNN Indonesia

Indonesian Defense Ministry official Dahnil ensured that until now there had been no approval regarding the purchase of the Russian manufacturer’s fighter jets.

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Read More Indonesian Military Receives ScanEagle Drone and Bell Utility Helicopter from US

It’s just, said Dahnil, a lot of considerations to purchase this Sukhoi. Not only in aircraft specifications but various other aspects are also considered.

“Regarding geopolitics and geostrategic matters, many things were taken into consideration and of course the Defense Minister had given his input to the president and the final decision was in the hands of the president,” he said.

Instead it is considering buying a stopgap F-16V Block 70 aircraft made in the United States. But until now there has been no definite decision related to the purchase of the F-35 weapon systems.

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