Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Indonesia's competition to replace its aging fleet of F-5E Tiger II fighter jets is still open, the country's air force chief said.
The announcement was made by Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, who was sworn in as Indonesia's air force chief last week. According to The Diplomat, the country's government is considering the Russian Sukhoi Su-35, the U.S. F-16 Block 60 Viper, and the Swedish JAS39 Gripen to replace the F-5s.
"We are looking to replace the F5 Tiger after the jets have been grounded for at least a year," Tjahjanto told Quwa. "The Air Force is still looking for a potential replacement."
Tjahjanto's statement follows earlier reports that Indonesia's Minister of Defense was in talks with Russian leadership for eight new Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role jets. Airbus Defense and Space has also fronted its Eurofighter Typhoon for potential procurement.
All 16 of Indonesia's F-5E/F fighter jets have been retired since late 2005, and under reserve for future use. The country's government intends to spend $1.5 billion on purchasing 16 new aircraft to replace each unit.