Indonesia inks US$1.1 billion deal with Russia to buy 11 jets

A Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter jet performs during a demonstration flight at the MAKS 2017 air show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, on July 21, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia has inked a billion-dollar deal to buy 11 Sukhoi Su-35 jets from Russia, an official said on Saturday (Feb 17).

The contract, signed by both countries' representatives in Jakarta on Wednesday, is worth a total US$1.14 billion (S$1.5 billion), Indonesia defence ministry spokesman Totok Sugiharto said.

"Two units of Sukhoi jets will be delivered in August 2018," he told AFP.

Another six jets would be delivered 18 months after the contract comes into effect, and the final three a further five months later, he said.

The deal comes after Indonesia said in August that it would seek to trade palm oil, coffee and tea for Russian fighter jets, saying it wanted to capitalise on international sanctions on Moscow.

The EU and US have targeted Russia with sanctions for alleged meddling in the US presidential election and its annexation of Crimea.

However, Indonesia's trade minister said the sanctions could be good news for his country as Russia is forced to seek new markets to import from.

Indonesia and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange 11 Russian-made Sukhoi fighters for key commodities in Moscow early August.

It was not announced Saturday in what form payment would be made.

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