The Algerian Air Force has ordered another eight Mi-26T2 heavy lift helicopters from Russia, following an earlier order for six. Deliveries are underway.
Earlier this week Russia’s Interfax-AVN agency reported that Algeria’s initial order was for six aircraft, not three firm orders and three options as earlier reported, and that a second contract was signed for another eight.
It is believed that Algeria signed the first contract on 26 June 2013. The first Algerian Mi-26T2 was seen flying from its factory at Rostov-on-Don in Russia on 25 December last year, with the second flying by February. They were delivered to Algeria in June, passing through Greece on the eighth of that month before arriving at Biskra Air Base, Algeria, on 9 June. They are now based there, reports Air Forces Daily.
Interfax-AVN reports that another two will be shipped before the end of this year and the remaining two will be dispatched at the beginning of 2016, completing the deliveries of the first contract. The eight from the next contract will be delivered in 2017.
The agreement signed with Rostvertol includes training of Algerian pilots and technicians.
The modernised Mi-26T2 features a night vision compatible glass cockpit and improved avionics and can lift 20 tons of payload.
At the moment the Algerian Air Force flies approximately 30 Mi-24-III Super Hinds, 16 AS 355/555s, 3 Bell 412s, 10 Super Lynx, three Ka-32s, 28 Mi-2s and 102 Mi-8/17/171s. Several older Mi-6 and Mi-4 helicopters may also be in service. Algeria has ordered 42 Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters.