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Indonesia to purchase Russian Sukhois, choppers

Antara - September 4, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia has agreed to purchase 12 Sukhoi 30K jetfighters and 8 MI-17-IV helicopters from Russia at a total cost of US$ 500 million, while Russia has agreed to purchase from Indonesia 40 kinds of commodities, also worth US$ 500 million, to be paid in cash under a counter-purchase agreement.

The aircraft will be delivered in stages until 2000, State Minister for Development Planning Ginandjar Kartasasmita told newsmen after meeting with President Soeharto at his residence at Jalan Cendana here Thursday.

Kartasasmita said the memorandum of understanding on the purchase of the Russian aircraft was signed last Aug 29 while the purchasing contract will be signed on Oct 29.

He said Indonesia will pay a 20 percent downpayment after the purchasing contract is signed.

Under an agreement reached during Kartasasmita's recent visit to Moscow, Russia will buy from Indonesia various products worth US$ 500 million.

He said the Russians earlier rejected Indonesia's proposal to apply a full counter-purchase scheme but they later agreed after a 24-hour postponement of the negotiations.

Kartasasmita cited as an example the counter-purchase agreements between Russia and Malaysia and between Russia and the Philippines, under which they agreed to apply a 30 percent counter-purchase scheme with Malaysia and a 60 percent counter-purchase scheme with the Philippines.

On Indonesia's proposal for an offset scheme, Kartasasmita just said, "No. There is no such scheme." Previously, BJ Habibie, president director of the national aircraft industry, PT IPTN, said the aircraft industry wants to have an offset scheme worth 30 percent of the total cost of the Russian aircraft.

Kartasasmita said that by applying the counter-purchase scheme, Indonesian products will not only penetrate the Russian market but also those of other countries grouped in the former Soviet Union.

He said the Russians have also invited the Indonesian Air Force to send a number of officers to be trained as cosmonauts.