Monday, October 23, 2017
Subscription Centre
Receive our free e-newsletter.
Click here for more information

Algerian Su-30MKA deliveries underway

A Su-30MK.The Algerian Air Force is in the process of receiving its new Su-30MKAs, with deliveries of 14 aircraft set to conclude early this year.

An Algerian Su-30MKA was seen in Algerian colours undergoing flight testing over Irkut in December – unpainted examples destined for Algeria have been seen flying from November.

The first two aircraft were apparently delivered by an An-124 operated by Volga-Dnepr in mid-December and unconfirmed reports indicate that eight of the Su-30MKAs had been delivered by the end of the month.

The order for the 14 additional jets was announced on 11 September 2015 by Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russian defence technology holding company Rostec, who said the contract was signed in April 2015. The aircraft are joining Algeria’s 44 existing Su-30MKAs, ordered in batches from 2006 (some were acquired instead of Mi-29SMTs, which Algeria was unhappy with and refused to accept).

The customised Su-30MKA is similar to India’s Su-30MKI, but features the ability to exchange data with the Algerian Air Force’s Yak-130s though a secure radio datalink, and a head-up and multifunction displays manufactured by the Thales Group and Sagem of France. It is powered by two Lyuka-Saturn AL-31FP turbofans with moving nozzles, and fitted with the N-011M Bars radar with passive phase array (PESA) antenna, capable of tracking multiply airborne targets and targeting four at a time. The Su-30MKA carries up to 8 tons of weapons on 12 hardpoints.

Algeria at some point in the future is expected to order 12 Su-34 strike aircraft from the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO).

Russia, meanwhile, recently began delivering Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missiles to Algeria for use on its Tigr-M vehicles. Algeria has been a big customer for the previous Kornet-E, having ordered 4 000 according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which said that 1 300 Kornet-Es were delivered in 2015. These were mostly for its BMP-1M infantry fighting vehicles, which also received 400 Berezhok turrets from Russia.

Other equipment Algeria has received from Russia in the last five years includes several S-300PMU-2/SA-20B surface to air missile systems, 38 96K9 Pantsyr-S1 air defence systems, 500 9M131 Metis-M/AT-13 anti-tank missiles and two Project-636/Kilo submarines. It is also receiving 42 Mi-28 attack helicopters and over a dozen Mi-26T2 transport helicopters.

Further Algerian defence acquisitions are likely – for example the Algerian Air Force has evaluated the C-17, A400M, A330MRTT and in September 2016 the Leonardo C-27J. Algeria recently received its second Meko frigate from Germany.