Monday, 3 March 2014

Expansion of the Algerian Navy

The Algerian Navy ordered 2 new Kilo class submarines in a further attempt to expand its navy with modern ships. (For the news article see following link)

The Algerian Navy has been undergoing expansion in recent years as it faces problems such as smuggling, illegal migration and indigenous terrorism. These threats mainly affect Algeria's harbors and maritime communication routes as well as ships passing through the Straits of Gibraltar. Consequently, the Algerian Navy maintains a well-trained and well-equipped fleet to provide security to more than 1000 km of coastline. The country is also maintaining a strong navy to deter its neighbors, notably Morocco that operates 6 modern frigates, the oldest dating back from the year 2002. The end result will be that Algeria operates the strongest navy of all the countries in the southern Mediterranean.

In April 2012 it emerged that Algeria had signed a contract with the China Shipbuilding Trading Company for three light frigates, after ordering two Meko A-200N frigates from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in March 2012. All three light frigates will be of the F-22P Zalfiquar class. These ships were built in China for the Navy of Pakistan which currently operates 4 Zalfiquar frigates. The Zalfiquar class is bassed on the Type 053H3 class frigates (Jiangwei II class). They displace around 2 800 tons fully loaded, and will be powered by MTU diesel engines. Algeria has also ordered two new Tiger class corvettes from Russia. The Tiger corvette (Project 20382) is an export model of the Project 20380 Steregushchy class, which is the Russian Navy’s newest corvette class.
In January Italian shipyard Fincantieri launched the Algerian Navy’s Kalaat Beni-Abbes landing helicopter dock ship (LHD), which will be delivered to Algeria later this year. Algeria may order a second of the type in the coming months. The Kalaat Beni-Abbess LHD is capable of transporting 15 armoured vehicles and 440 soldiers and has a crew of 150 sailors.
Apart from buying new ships the Algerian navy is also refitting its 3 Koni class frigates at the Russian naval base in Kronshtadt. These ships date back from the 1980’s and by refitting them Algeria makes sure that their lifespan is prolonged and that these ships can keep up with their new modern counterparts. Currently the last frigate, the Rais Kellich, is being refitted.

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