Algerian Su-30s spotted on Russian production line


Russia’s Irkutsk Aviation Plant is presently manufacturing Su-30 fighters for the Algerian Air Force, after it placed an order for another 16 aircraft.

At least four Algerian Su-30s were recently seen at the plant. This comes after Algeria ordered $2 billion worth of additional Su-30MKA and MiG-29M/M2 aircraft in 2019.

Last September, Russian daily newspaper Vedomosti 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 are added.

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.