The Algerian Air Force will be receiving additional Su-30MKA and MiG-29M/M2 fighters from Russia after contracts worth nearly $2 billion were signed.
Russian daily newspaper Vedomosti on 9 September reported that Algeria had ordered an additional 16 Su-30MKA aircraft, joining the 58 already in service, and another 14 MiG-29M/M2 aircraft. Both purchases are worth around $1.8 billion, but the value could exceed $2 billion if weapons and equipment is added.
The agreements were apparently reached at the MAKS Moscow Aerospace Exhibition last month by Algeria’s Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Major General Hamid Boumaiza.
Algeria is looking to replace some of its 36 obsolete MiG-29s it bought from Belarus and the Ukraine in the early 2000s and which will be retired around 2020. Algeria also ordered 34 new MiG-29SMTs from Russia, but due to quality problems Algeria refused further deliveries after 15 had been received and Russia instead supplied Algeria with 16 Su-30s.
Algeria received its most recent batch of Su-30s in 2016/17. The Su-30MKA operated by the Algerian Air Force is a specialised variant of the Su-30MK fitted with a mix of French and Russian avionics. The former includes a head-up and multifunction displays manufactured by the Thales Group and Sagem of France.
The MiG-29M (and two seat MiG-29M2) is an improved version of the MiG-29 featuring longer range due to increased internal fuel, a lighter airframe, slightly more powerful and improved RD-33MK engines, an in-flight refuelling probe, multi-function displays in the cockpit and improved avionics.
In 2016 it was reported that Algeria was interested in acquiring Su-34 strike aircraft from Russia but it seems little came of those discussions.