Algeria receiving first Mi-28 attack helicopters

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Russia has delivered the first two Mi-28NE attack helicopters to Algeria, out of an order for 42 of the aircraft.

Photos posted by defence blog Secret Difa3 show two Mi-28NEs in Algerian colours being unloaded from what is apparently an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft in Algeria on 26 May. Algerian Mi-28s have been seen flying in Russia for several months now ahead of deliveries.

Algeria is getting dual control versions of the Mi-28NE, with Russian Helicopters announcing on 16 March this year that its Rostvertol plant had begun mass production of the dual control model.

Algeria is the third Mi-28NE operator after Iraq and Russia. It has also ordered 14 Mi-26T2 heavy lift helicopters from Russia. The first was delivered in June 2015. It is believed these helicopters were ordered in late 2013.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), some Algerian helicopter deliveries over the last 15 years include 42 Mi-171Sh armed helicopters received between 2002 and 2004, nine AS355N light helicopters delivered in 2005; three Bell 412Eps delivered from Canada in 2002 and 16 Mi-24V/Mi-35 helicopters from the Ukraine, delivered in 2001/2.

AgustaWestland has done substantial business in Algeria, and sold a total of 78 helicopters to the North African country worth around $1.3 billion over the last five years.

Now called Leonardo Helicopters, AgustaWestland has provided very little detail on its helicopter sales to Algeria, no doubt as a result of non-disclosure agreements with the North African customer. However, Helihub.com has put together research giving precise numbers on Algerian helicopter procurement.

According to the website, Algeria has ordered a total of eight AW101 helicopters, starting with two VVIP AW101s acquired to replace two Airbus EC225s. The latter were taken by AgustaWestland as part of the deal. Another AW101 Mk.610s were acquired for search and rescue – these were delivered between 2010 and 2011, according to SIPRI.

One of the biggest orders was for AW109s, with a total of 24 being delivered. Ten are operated by the Police while another fourteen are in service with the Gendarmerie. SIPRI data shows 15 A109Ks were delivered in 2010-2011 for border guard and police use.

Eight AW119 Koalas were delivered in 2013, for pilot training.

The AW139 is used by several different organisations in Algeria, with 20 aircraft being acquired in total. Six are flown by the Civil Protection department, 11 are flown by the Algerian Air Force for combat search and rescue, and three are in service with the Algerian Navy for search and rescue. SIPRI data notes that eight AW139s received between 2013 and 2014 for search and rescue.

A total of ten Super Lynx helicopters were acquired by the Algerian Navy. SIPRI shows four Super Lynx 300s (Mk 130s) were delivered in 2010-12 and six Lynx Mk 140s were delivered in 2015. According to Helihub.com, the Mk 130s are used for search and rescue while the Mk 140s are equipped with weapons – they have been seen carrying Mokopa guided missiles and were bought for use aboard the country’s Meko class frigates being built by Germany.



Polish-based Swidnik has also supplied helicopters to Algeria, with eight W-3A Sokols being delivered in 2014.