Surface Forces: Algeria Leaves The Cold War Behind

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May 21, 2016: In April Algeria put into service the first of two MEKO A200 class frigates ordered from Germany in 2012. The second MEKO A200 will arrive in early 2017. These 3,500 ton ships are armed with eight anti-ship missiles, 16 anti-aircraft missiles, four 324mm torpedo tubes, a 76mm gun, two 35mm, and two 20mm autocannon as well as a helicopter. Crew size is 100 and it can stay at sea 21 days before needing refueling and resupply. Top speed is 50 kilometers an hour.

MEKO class ships are a mature and reliable design that is used for ships displacing from nearly 1,000 tons to nearly 4,000. The A200 types cost about $400 million each. The navy has also ordered two Tigr corvettes and two Kilo class subs from Russia as well as two Chinese C28A class corvettes. This is being done to replace aging Cold War era warships, most of which were Russian and did not age well. All this spending on the navy has caused some unrest in Algeria, where the corrupt government has spent relatively little on social needs, despite billions in oil income. Buying expensive new warships, especially from Russia and China, provides good opportunities for bribes.

 


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