"I cannot confirm when the planes will arrive in Indonesia, because it needs to be produced. But hopefully, the contract can be finished (soon)," Russian ambassador to Indonesia, Lyudmila Georgievna Vorobieva, said during an exclusive interview with ANTARA in Jakarta on Monday.
Negotiations to purchase 11 units of Sukhoi-35 from Russia have been completed, and the contract was signed by both parties in Feb 2018.
Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E is said to be replacing the F-5 E / F Tiger II at the 14th Air Squadron at Iswahyudi Air Base in Madiun, East Java.
There are similarities between the two fighter jets, including that both are twin-engine aircraft.
However, according to Vorobieva, some technical aspects still need to be discussed, and hopefully, it can be resolved in 2019.
The ambassador is optimistic that defense cooperation between Russia and Indonesia can be strengthened, with Russia`s willingness to be Indonesia`s loyal partner.
"Russia produces a variety of defense equipments. Whatever Indonesia needs, we can provide (equipments) with world-class quality," she remarked.
Indonesia had agreed with Russia to purchase 11 units of Sukhoi jet fighters, worth US$1.14 billion, through a barter scheme.
Through the agreement, Russia is required to buy a number of commodities from Indonesia, such as palm oil, coffee, rubber, and tea, with the total import of at least $570 million or about half of the Sukhoi deal.
The barter scheme could become a model of trade cooperation with countries from which Indonesia imports oil and gas.
Reporting by Azizah Fitriyanti
Editing by Yashinta Difa Pramudyani, Sri Haryati