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Habibie still interested in Russian arms

ITAR-TASS - July 9, 1997

Moscow – Indonesia is analysing the combat characteristics of Russian military equipment and is considering the possibility of acquiring some, [Indonesian] Minister of State Bacharuddin J. Habibie said at a news conference in Moscow today. He said that the technology and the quality of the goods manufactured by the Russian aircraft industry was not inferior to that of the world's leading aviation firms. He admired the combat aircraft of the latest generation: Su-37, Su-30 and MiG-29 and also the Ka-50 ("Black Shark" ) helicopter and other aviation equipment manufactured by the Russian military and industrial complex.

The Indonesian armed forces, B.J. Habibie said, are composed of ground forces, air force, navy and police forces. At present they are equipped with old specimens of American and European weapons. In line with strategic modernization plans, Jakarta intends to renew its aircraft pool and to equip its ground forces with very modern armoured equipment and the navy with modern ships. The minister of state did not rule out that this renewal may be effected through deliveries of Russian military equipment.

The minister of state did not specify the accords reached on deliveries of Russian armaments, but noted that during his meeting with Yakov Urinson, the deputy head of the Russian government, at whose invitation he arrived in Moscow, they signed "a protocol note" on mutually advantageous cooperation between the two countries, including in the military and technical sphere.

Indonesian Minister of Research and Technology B.J.Habibie arrived in Moscow on 1st July. He visited a number of scientific and research centres and production associations of the military-industrial complex in Moscow Region, St Petersburg and Nizhniy Novgorod. Here he familiarized himself with the most up-to-date armaments.

Having completed his visit to Russia, B.J. Habibie today flies to Indonesia.