Algeria commissions indigenous corvette


The Chief of Staff of the Algerian military, General Ahmed Gaid Salah, has commissioned into service the domestically manufactured corvette Rais Hassen Barbier.

Salah, who is also Deputy Minister of National Defense, commissioned the vessel (807) at Mers-el-Kebir on 8 August together with Algerian Navy chief Major General Mohamed Larbi Haouli.

According to the Algerian Ministry of National Defense (MND), Salah toured the corvette and inspected various parts of the vessel, which was built by Etablissement de Construction et de Réparation Navales (ECRN).

Construction of the corvette began in 2009 but it was only in October 2015 that the vessel was launched. It is 62 metres long and displaces 600 tonnes. It is armed with a 76 mm naval gun, quad launchers for C-802 anti-ship missiles and a 30 mm close-in weapons system.

The Rais Hassen Barbier is a development of the Djebel Chenoua-class corvettes built locally by ECRN Mers-el-Kebir, which has also built tubs, trawlers and other vessels. The first of class, Djebel Chenoua, was launched in 1985 while the second, El Chihab, was launched in 1990 and the third, El Kirch, was launched in 2000 and commissioned in 2002. They are smaller than the Rais Hassen Barbier, at 58 meters, but also appear to carry the same armament of one 76 mm gun, one 30 mm close-in weapons system and four C-802 missiles. The latter was derived from the French Exocet and has a range of some 120 km.

The Algerian Navy gets most of its hardware from overseas, and earlier this year took delivery of its second Meko 200AN class frigate, El Moudamir, from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, which arrived in Algeria on 21 May.

Algeria is due to take delivery of the mine countermeasures vessel El-Kasseh 1 later this year. It was seen undergoing sea trials off La Spezia, Italy, in March after being launched by Italian shipyard Intermarine on 5 April 2016.

Next year Algeria is due to take delivery of two Kilo class submarine from Russia – the first was completed in March this year by Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg. Algeria’s order for two Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) submarines was revealed in mid-2014.

Meanwhile, Algeria is expected to take delivery of two Tigr class corvettes from Russia this year. The Tigr corvette (Project 20382) is an export model of the Project 20380 Steregushchy class, which is the Russian Navy’s newest corvette class. The type is armed with SS-N-26 Yakhont/Onyx cruise missiles, a 100 mm A190 gun and other weapons.