Defense Ministry looking to replace aging F-5 tiger fighter aircraft

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Defense Ministry announced its plan to replace the F-5 Tiger fighter aircraft with the latest generation of jet fighters such as the Russian Sukhoi Su-35.

"We have received proposals from several jet fighter manufacturers for replacing the F-5 Tiger fighter aircraft. We are in the process of evaluating which jet fighter will best suit our requirements, whether the aircraft is from Russia, USA, or other countries," stated Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, here on Tuesday.

Purnomo spoke about the plan after holding a meeting with Indonesian Military Commander General Moeldoko and Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Marshall Ida Bagus Putu Dunia, here on Tuesday.

The minister pointed out that they have at least 5 to 6 options of jet fighters to replace the aging F-5 Tiger fighter aircraft, which has been in service for over three decades.

He urged several officers to weigh all their available options to zero down upon which jet fighter meets the specifications to replace the "Tiger".

The minister hoped that the officers can arrive at a decision soon, so that the requisition plan can be included in Indonesias Strategic Plan II 2015 to 2020.

"I hope the finalized next-generation jet fighter is capable of carrying long-range missiles," Purnomo added.

Meanwhile, General Moeldoko remarked that the Indonesian Air Force has conducted a study on several jet fighters such as the Russian Sukhoi Su-35, the American F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the Swedish Fighter SAAB JAS 39 Gripen.

"We are still evaluating the options. It depends on Indonesias financial position," Moeldoko stated.

Ida noted that the Indonesian Air Force is willing to have a squadron of 16 new jet fighters to replace the aging F-5 Tiger.

"We will follow the Strategic Plan. We will also revise the decision in line with the command of the Indonesian Military Commander and Defense Minister as well as taking into consideration the state finances," Ida claimed.

Marshall stated that the Air Force can substitute the old jet fighter in the Strategic Plan in order to defend Indonesian sovereignty.(*)

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