China launches first Algerian corvette


The Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding company has launched the first of three new C28A corvettes for Algeria, which will be delivered in mid-2015.

The vessel was launched near Shanghai on August 16, according to Naval Recognition, and will be delivered in May next year.

Algeria in March 2012 signed a contract with China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSSC) for the three corvettes, after ordering two Meko A-200N frigates from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. They are being built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, a wholly owned subsidiary CSSC, the largest shipbuilding group in China.

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 will be powered by MTU diesel engines.

They will receive 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 corvette follows confirmation in June that Algeria has ordered two Kilo class diesel electric submarines from Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg, Russia. The two Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) submarines will be delivered by 2018. They will join the four already in Algeria’s fleet.

Algeria has also ordered two new Tiger class corvettes from Russia. The Tiger corvette (Project 20382) is an export model of the Project 20380 Steregushchy class, which is the Russian Navy’s newest corvette class.

In January Italian shipyard Fincantieri launched the Algerian Navy’s Kalaat Beni-Abbes landing helicopter dock ship, which will be delivered to Algeria later this year. Algeria may order a second of the type.