Thales exporting radars for Algerian corvettes


Thales Nederland will supply radars and communications equipment for Algeria’s three new corvettes being built in China.

Thales Nederland received an export license for the 21 million euros worth of hardware, Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said in a letter to the Dutch parliament, according to the Netherlands Info Service.

The radar systems and command, control and communications (C3) systems will be partially built into the frigates by Thales Nederland staff in China, but due to concerns that the Chinese may access or copy sensitive information and technology, the installation will be completed in Algeria.

Timmermans said the sale was approved after complying with European Union regulations on arms exports, as the sale is not expected to contribute to human rights violations or contribute to an escalation in tensions with Algeria’s neighbour Morocco.

In April last year it emerged that Algeria had signed a contract with the China Shipbuilding Trading Company for three light frigates, after ordering two Meko A-200N frigates from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

The three light frigates will displace around 2 800 tons fully loaded, and will be powered by MTU diesel engines.

The Algerian Navy has been undergoing expansion in recent years as it faces problems such as smuggling, illegal migration and indigenous terrorism. These threats mainly affect Algeria’s harbours and maritime communication routes and ships passing through the Straits of Gibraltar. Consequently, the Algerian Navy maintains a well-trained and well-equipped fleet to provide security to more than 1000 km of coastline.

On March 26, 2012, Algeria’s ministry of defence signed a contract with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) for two Meko A-200 frigates with an option for two more, after a year of negotiations. Algeria has also ordered two new Tiger class corvettes from Russia.

In 2011, the Algerian navy ordered a landing and logistical support vessel from Italy’s Orizzonte Sistemi Navali. Delivery of the vessel, based on the San Giorgio class deployed by the Italian navy, is expected in 2015.