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Algeria orders two Meko frigates

altAlgeria’s ministry of defence has ordered two Meko A200 frigates from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) as part of the navy’s modernisation drive.
The contract, No. 674/889, was signed on March 26, according to Algerian media, after a year of negotiations. In 2008 Forecast International reported that Algeria was seeking to acquire four new frigates.

TKMS will supply two Meko 200 frigates and six AgustaWestland Super Lynx helicopters under the €2.5 billion contract. According to Russia’s Periscope magazine, the ships will be armed with RBS 15 Mk III anti-ship missiles, Umkhonto IR surface-to-air missiles, Oto Melara and Rheinmetall guns and MU 90 torpedoes. The helicopters will be equipped with Mokopa air-to-ground missiles.

ThyssenKrupp delivered four Meko A-200 stealth frigates to the South African Navy: the SAS Amatola, SAS Isandlwana, SAS Spioenkop and the SAS Mendi. The frigates feature exterior stealth designs and use a combination of water jet propulsion systems with a conventional diesel engines.

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 harbours and maritime communication routes and 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.

In the middle of last year it was announced that Algeria had signed a deal with Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation and state arms exporter Rosoboronexport for two new Tiger class corvettes.

Jane’s noted that Algeria has been interested in acquiring Tiger ‘missile frigates’ since early 2006. The Algerians also looked at Project 11661 Gepard-type and Project 11356 frigates. An international tender was issued around March 2007, and Algeria expressed interest in BAE Systems Type 23 frigates and regarding DCNS FREMM type frigates, amongst others, before deciding on the Russian vessels.

According to the IISS’s The Military Balance 2012, Algeria’s surface fleet comprises of three 1970s-era Koni class antisubmarine frigates, six corvettes, 22 patrol and coastal combat vessels, three amphibious vessels and three logistics and support ships.

In June 2006 Rosoboronexport signed a contract with the Algerian Navy for the construction of two Project 636 Improved Kilo class submarines under a roughly US$400 million contract.

Construction of the first submarine started in 2006 and the second began in 2007. They were handed over to the Algerian Navy in March and September 2010 where they joined two Project 877EKM Kilo diesel electric submarines, which Algeria received in 1987-1988. 
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