China launches second Algerian corvette


The Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding company has launched the second of three C28A corvettes for the Algerian Navy, which will take delivery of the vessels later this year.

The vessel (921) was launched on February 6 from the company’s shipyard near Shanghai. The first vessel (920) was launched in August 16 last year for delivery in May 2015 and is currently being outfitted by the shipyard, a subsidiary of the China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSSC).

Algeria in March 2012 signed a contract for the three corvettes, after ordering two Meko A-200N frigates from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

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 are receiving a combination of Western and Chinese systems, including a Chinese hull-mounted sonar, Thales Smart-S Mk II air and surface surveillance radar and Kelvin Hughes navigation radar.

Armament will include a NORINCO single barrel 76 mm main gun, eight C802 anti-ship missiles, a single FM90N launcher with eight surface to air missiles and two Type 730 seven-barrel 30 mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS) located on top of the helicopter hangar.

The corvettes feature some stealth in their design, including the placement of the exhausts towards their waterline to reduce infrared signature.

The launching of the corvettes follows the undocking and floating out of the first Meko A200 from a dockyard in Kiel, Germany, on December 5 last year, and 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.