Algeria has signed a contract for the license assembly of around 200 T-90 main battle tanks with Russian arms exporting firm Rosoboronexport.
According to Moscow Defence Brief, the deal, signed last year, is worth around $1 billion. Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, quoting defence sources, on Friday said that this follows on a contract for the delivery of 185 T-90S tanks, delivered between 2006 and 2008 in a deal worth $1 billion. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), another 120 T-90S tanks were delivered between 2012 and 2013 under a 2011 deal worth $470 million.
The T-90 is a modernised version of the T-72, but although developed from the T-72, it uses a 125 mm 2A46 smoothbore tank gun, a new engine, and thermal sights. Standard protective measures include a blend of steel, composite armour, and Kontakt-5 explosive-reactive armour, laser warning receivers, Nakidka camouflage and the Shtora infrared anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) jamming system.
Algeria is acquiring a significant amount of military hardware as it continues with the massive overhaul of its military. According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, some of Algeria’s imports in 2013 included ten armoured combat vehicles and 101 Russian main battle tanks (obviously T-90S tanks), 24 Fuchs vehicle kits from Germany, 60 73 mm HATGL recoilless rifles and 214 light machineguns from Bulgaria and eight air-to-surface missiles from South Africa.
Algeria is buying around 1 200 Fuchs APCs from Germany, which will assemble them in the North African nation, and is also jointly producing the NIMR vehicle in conjunction with the United Arab Emirates.
On the naval side, Algeria will soon take delivery of three new C28A corvettes from China and two Meko A-200N frigates from Germany. In September last year Italian shipyard Fincantieri delivered the Algerian Navy’s flagship amphibious warfare vessel Kalaat Beni-Abbes at its Muggiano Shipyard. As part of its naval modernisation programme, Algeria will in 2018 take delivery of two Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) diesel electric submarines from Admiralty Shipyards in Russia. Algeria has also ordered two new Tiger class corvettes from Russia.
The Algerian Air Force is also getting a boost with the acquisition of up to six Mil Mi-26T2 heavy lift helicopters and 42 Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters while 39 of its Mi-171Sh helicopters will be modernised. The second Mi-26T2 was seen undergoing flight testing in Russia earlier this month.
Russia is a major supplier to Algeria, which is one of the world’s leading arms importers. Rosoboronexport, owned by state conglomerate Rostec, sold more than $13 billion worth of military equipment in 2014 and hopes to sell just over $13 billion this year. Rosoboronexport on Monday said its orders portfolio stands at $38.5 billion.