Italian shipyard launches Algerian mine countermeasures vessel


Italian shipyard Intermarine has launched a new mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV) for the Algerian Navy. The coastal minehunter was launched on 5 April.

The vessel (501) is named El-Kasseh 1.

Algeria’s order for the vessel emerged in late 2014 when it was confirmed that it had signed a contract for a single vessel, plus an option for a second. Intermarine was originally reported to be in negotiations with Algeria regarding the vessel in 2013 and at Euronaval 2014 Intermarine announced it had started working on an MCMV for an unspecified customer, which turned out to be Algeria.

According to IHS Jane’s, Orizzonte Sistemi Navali is acting as prime contractor, while Intermarine is carrying out most of the work as a subcontractor. Construction commenced at Intermarine in early 2014, with delivery estimated before 2017.

According to IHS Jane’s, the vessels is based on the Katanpaa class vessels built for the Finnish Navy. It is believed to have a hull based on a monocoque single skin glass reinforced plastic design and is around 50 metres in length. Based on Katanpaa specifications, the vessels has a displacement of nearly 700 tons, a speed of 13 knots and accommodation for more than 30 people. Main armament is likely to be a 40 mm cannon, while the vessel should be able to launch mine detection and disposal vehicles.

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.

In February the Algerian Navy commissioned the first of two Meko frigates at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in Germany, and will take delivery of the vessel in the coming months. The first frigate was named Harrad (Deterrent). The second frigate was launched in December 2015 and will be delivered in 2017.

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.