Algerian Su-30MKA and Kornet deliveries moving forward


Russia is preparing to deliver another batch of Kornet anti-tank missiles to Algeria, which is also set to shortly receive its first of a batch of Su-30MKA fighters.

Photographs showing what apparently was the first flight of a new Su-30MKA surfaced earlier this month, indicating deliveries are imminent. Algeria has 14 Su-30MKA fighters on order from Russia, which will join its 44 existing Su-30MKAs.

The Russian manufacturer Irkut in mid-2016 said the first Su-30MKA deliveries will begin later this year and conclude in 2017. 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 last year.

Meanwhile, Shephard Media is reporting that a batch of 28 vehicle-mounted Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems is being completed at Russia’s KBP company in Tula ahead of delivery to Algeria.

The publication reported that the Algerian order was placed in July 2014 with the missiles being fitted to the VPK-233136 Tigr-M all-terrain 4×4 armoured vehicle. Kornet-EM deliveries are scheduled to begin this year.

The Kornet-EM is an upgraded version of the Kornet-E and features several improvements over the previous version. It is able to penetrate between 1 100 and 1 300 mm of armour and is available in two configurations, including an automatic launcher for vehicles and a transportable launcher. Range is around 8 000 metres.

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 ssytems, 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 the Leonardo C-27J. Algeria will soon also receive its second Meko frigate – it was seen in port after conducting sea trials in Germany earlier this month. The first arrived in Algiers in April.