Indonesia buying Russian fighters

July 3, 2006 at 8:02 AM
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JAKARTA, July 3 (UPI) -- Indonesia has gained $1 billion in export credits from Russia to buy Sukhoi jet fighters, naval vessels and spare parts.

The Jakarta Post reported over the weekend that credits from the five-year deal will also go on training programs and the development of a local defense industry.

"The interest rate is only for five years and there is no insurance fee," the newspaper quoted Lt. Gen. Syafrie Syamsudin, secretary-general of the Defense Ministry. "The credit can save us up to 12.25 percent if compared to a commercial credit."

Syafrie also said there was "the possibility that the value of the credit will be expanded," and that the Russians had pledged to help find Indonesia additional sources of credit.

Indonesia currently has four Sukhoi aircraft. Syafrie, speaking in a signing ceremony in Jakarta late last week, said the country would order six more fighters at a cost of $300 million. Delivery will begin in 2007.

Syafrie gave no details on planned naval buys, except to say submarines would be on the shopping list.

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