The first of three C28A corvettes for the Algerian Navy has begun sea trials in China ahead of delivery later this year.
The vessel (920) was recently seen sailing out of Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard near Shanghai for sea trials in the East China Sea. Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding is a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
Algeria signed a contract for the three C28A corvettes in March 2012. The first vessel (920) was launched on August 16 last year and the second corvette (921) was launched in February this year.
The corvettes are armed with a 76 mm main gun, FM-90N launcher for HQ-7 surface-to-air missiles and YJ-82/C-802 anti-ship missiles. Once in Algeria the vessels will be fitted with Thales Smart-S Mk 2 radar and command, control, and communication systems. When the second vessel (921) was launched in February, it was fitted with two Type 730 series close-in weapon system (CIWS) turrets.
The C28A corvettes are around 120 metres long, 14.4 metres wide and have a draft of 3.87 metres. They displace about 2 880 tons fully loaded, and are powered by MTU diesel engines. They feature some stealth in their design, including the placement of the exhausts towards their waterline to reduce infrared signature.
Delivery to the Algerian Navy was originally scheduled for May this year but will only take place in the coming months if sea trials go smoothly.
Algeria’s navy is set to expand significantly in the near future as it receives a number of new vessels. The first of two Meko A-200AN frigates ordered from Germany in March 2012 was seen readying for sea trials last month, with delivery late this year or early 2016. The second is due for delivery in 2018.
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. Construction of the submarines began this year under a contract worth an estimated $1.2 billion.
In April Algeria’s largest vessel, the amphibious transport dock platform Kalaat Beni Abbes, arrived in the North African country. It was ordered in July 2011 from Orizzonte Sistemi Navali, at a cost of more than 400 million euros.
It has been reported that Algeria’s neighbour Morocco may buy a single Project 1650 Amur Class (export version of the Project 677 Lada Class) diesel-electric submarine from Admiralty Shipyard. The type is being built for the Russian Navy to succeed the Kilo class. Negotiations will apparently take place during King Mohamed VI’s visit to Russia later this year.