(Photo: Indonesia Airforce)
September 27, 2010, Makassar, South Sulawesi - Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said that his ministry plans to have 180 Sukhois by developing 10 squadrons, to guard the country.
"To defend our country's sovereignty, we have set a target to have 180 Sukhoi jet fighters by developing 10 squadrons," Minister Purnomo, who was accompanied Chief of the Air Force Marshall Imam Sufaat, said here Monday.
Each squadron will have 18 Sukhois, he said.
The defense ministry in its strategic working plan has also to buy F-16 Fighting Falcons to replace Australia-made Hawks.
Indonesia is expected to acquire 180 Sukhois by 2024, according to the minister.
Russia has expressed its readiness to supply as many Sukhois as Indonesia needs, he said.
"With the improving national economic condition, it will help the government in acquiring weapons to strengthen the national defense," he said.
Three Russian-made Sukhoi jet fighter planes was expected to be handed over officially to Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro in Makassar, on Monday.
After the arrival of one unit of Sukhoi jet fighter, the Air Force's Squadron 11 at Hassanuddin airbase would have a fleet of 10 Sukhoi jet fighter planes imported from Russia.
Previously, on Friday (Sept 9), two Sukhois had arrived at the Air Force base in Makassar.
In 2003, Indonesia purchased two Sukhois of the SU-30 MK type and two of the SU-27SK type. Later, the Defense Ministry bought six Sukhois in 2007 worth US$300 million, or Rp2.85 trillion.
The six purchased Sukhois consisted of three SU-30MK2s and three SU-30SKM. Three SU-30MK2s arrived in Makassar in 2008 and 2009.
With the arrivals of three more Sukhois, Indonesia has one squadron of Sukhois.