The Algerian Navy will soon receive a fifth Kilo class submarine from Russia, as the vessel was completed in St Petersburg earlier this month.
According to Menadefense, the Kilo class submarine Akram Pasha and the tug El Moussanid (703) left Oran, Algeria, along with the tug El Moussanid (703) for St Petersburg, where they were spotted on 12 April. It is believed they will be escorting the new submarine on its homeward voyage to Algeria.
Another Kilo class submarine will apparently join the Algerian Navy fleet in mid-2018 as part of a 2013 order for two new Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) vessels. It is almost complete and will soon begin sea trials.
The new submarines will add to four already in Algeria’s fleet – in June 2006 Rosoboronexport signed a contract with the Algerian Navy for the construction of two Project 636 Improved Kilo class submarines under a roughly US$400-600 million contract. Construction of the first submarine started in 2006 and the second began in 2007. They were handed over to the Algerian Navy in March and September 2010 where they joined two Project 877EKM Kilo diesel electric submarines, which Algeria received in 1987-1988. The latter two were upgraded by Russian shipyards.
The Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo) class is mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters. The tear-drop hulled submarine is 72.6m long, 9.9m wide and can dive to 300 meters. The design has a displacement of 3 076 tons. Underwater, it reportedly has a speed of up to 25 knots. The complement is 52 and the submarine has an endurance of 45 days.
The boat is fitted with six 533 mm torpedo tubes and carries up to 18 homing or wire-guided torpedoes, or 24 AM-1 mines. The type can also be fitted with four Kalibr cruise missiles.
The outer hull is covered with sound damping tiles and its machinery as well as design is regarded as very quiet. Designed by the Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau of St Petersburg, the submarine entered service in 1982. The type was originally built at the Komsomolsk shipyard and lately by the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg. It is in service with the navies of Russia, China, Vietnam, Iran, India and Poland, among others. Some 50 have been built.
Algeria has apparently also ordered two additional Kilo 877EKM vessels, for delivery in 2020-2022.