Friday, May 21, 2010

China to train Indonesian pilots for Su-family fighters

It is difficult to argue that "China's military buildup stokes regional arms race" (here) when the very same region relies increasingly on China for arms.

China to train Indonesian pilots for Su-family fighters

Indonesia and China have agreed to continue cooperation in training pilots for Russian-made Su-family fighters in service with the Indonesian air force, the Antara news agency said on Friday.

The agreement was reached during the current visit of the deputy chief of China's Central Military Commission Gen. Guo Boxiong to Jakarta.

According to the Indonesian military, ten Indonesian pilots have already undergone Sukhoi jet fighter simulation training in China and training courses for new pilots will start in the near future.

Under a $300 million contract, signed in 2007, Russia is expected to complete the delivery of three Su-30MK2 and three Su-27SKM fighters to Jakarta by the end of 2010 in addition to two Su-27SK and two Su-30MK fighters purchased in 2003.

China, which has a number of Su-family fighters in service and purchased a license on the production of 200 Su-27SK combat jets, has built several computer-assisted simulators to help train pilots for Su-family fighters.

Indonesia earlier said it needed at least one squadron equipped with 16 Sukhoi fighters to replace part of the outdated fleet of U.S. F-16 fighters.

JAKARTA, May 21 (RIA Novosti)

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