Algeria is believed to be behind an order for components for the manufacture of Fuchs-2 armoured vehicles from Rheinmetall worth over a hundred million euros.
Rheinmetall announced the “triple-digit million euro contract” on 8 October from an “international customer”. Delivery of the components will take place during the 2019-2020 timeframe.
It is highly likely that Algeria is the undisclosed customer as it is the only one that produces the Fuchs-2 under license outside Germany. In 2014 it signed a 2.7 billion euro deal for the production of 980 Fuchs-2 vehicles. A factory was subsequently built in northeast Algeria to manufacture the vehicles.
In 2011 Germany authorised the export of 54 Fuchs vehicles worth 195 million euros to Algeria, as well as other military vehicles worth 286 million euros. By mid-2015, Algeria had received some 250 Fuchs-2s, fitted with MEXAS or AMAP applique armour and remote weapon stations.
According to Rheinmetall, some 1 400 Fuchs/Fox vehicles have been built to date in a multitude of different variants. The Fuchs-2 is an upgraded version of the original armoured personnel carrier, which entered German service in 1979 and is being upgraded to ensure service for at least another decade. The Fuchs-2 features a larger fighting compartment, a more powerful engine, updated running gear, improved survivability and digital vehicle electronics.
Algeria is a major customer for German military hardware, and this includes two Meko A200 frigates ordered from Thyssen-Krupp in 2012 and SUVs and trucks from Daimler. Many of these vehicles are manufactured locally by the Algerian Company of Vehicle Manufacturing (SPA SAFAV-Tiaret) and include Mercedes Benz G class and Sprinter models for the Algerian defence, national security and justice ministries. Algeria also produces Mercedes Zetros, Actros, Unimog, Ategor and Axor vehicles.
Algeria is looking to manufacture helicopters locally, and in 2016 signed a memorandum of understanding on a new joint venture with Italy’s Leonardo to assemble light to medium helicopters at a new facility in Setif Province. Algeria is to own 51% of the facility.
On 19 September this year Italian ambassador to Algeria Pasquale Ferrara visited Setif and said Algeria will start manufacturing helicopters in 2020 after soon finalising the joint production deal.
Over the past few years, the Algerian Air Force, Presidency, Gendarmerie, Marine, Police Service and civil protection units have acquired large numbers of AgustaWestland (Leonardo) helicopters. The company has sold at least 78 helicopters to the North African country worth around $1.3 billion.