The first of two Meko A200 frigates for the Algerian Navy has arrived home and been commissioned into service. The second vessel is due for delivery in 2017.
Erradii (910) arrived in the port of Algiers on 19 April and was commissioned into Algerian service by chief-of-staff of the military and deputy defence minister Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah in a ceremony also attended by navy head Major General Mohamed Larbi Haouli. Salah inspected the frigate, including its embarked Super Lynx helicopters.
The Algerian Ministry of Defence said that the vessel strengthens the Navy’s modernisation plan and enhances the defensive capabilities of the military.
The vessel was launched on 5 December 2014 at the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) yard in Germany. The second frigate (hull number 911, believed to be named Harrad) was launched in December 2015 and will be delivered in 2017. The two vessels, with options for two more, were ordered in March 2012.
Algeria’s Meko frigates are equipped with the Saab Sea Giraffe AMB (Agile Multi-Beam) 3D surveillance radar; Saab CEROS 200 radar/electro-optical (EO) fire control directors; Thales UMS4132 Kingklip sonar; OTO Melara 127/64 LW (Lightweight) 127 mm naval gun; MSI-Defence 30 mm cannons; Rheinmetall Defence MASS softkill decoy launchers; Denel Dynamics Umkhonto-IR missiles; MU90 torpedoes and Saab/Diehl Defence RBS 15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles.
Algeria also ordered six AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 maritime helicopters for the vessels and these are being fitted with Thales Compact FLASH dipping sonars, MU90 torpedoes and Mokopa missiles.
Another impending delivery is a new mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV), which was launched by Italian shipyard Intermarine on 5 April. The vessel (501) is named El-Kasseh 1. Algeria has options on a second vessel.
The launch of El-Kasseh 1 comes after the Algerian Navy commissioned its second C28A corvette (El Fatih) into service on 10 March. The first of three vessels, built by China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, arrived in Algeria in November last year.
Two Tigr corvettes are scheduled for delivery from Russia in 2017, while two Project-636E/Kilo submarines will be delivered to the Algerian Navy in 2018.