The Peoples National Army (PNA) is the armed forces of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. Algeria has a large and reasonably well-equipped military to counter foreign and domestic threats. The People's National Army include ground forces, an air force, navy, and an air defense command.
The National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale), a paramilitary body, is used mainly as a police force in rural areas.
Active personnel: 127,000 (2011 est.) Reserve personnel: 150,000 (2010 est.)
Budget: $6.0 billion (2010)
Percent of GDP: 2.9% (2010)
- The Armed forces of Algeria comprise:
1- The Land Forces (ANP)
2- Navy of the Republic of Algeria
3- Air Force
4- Territorial Air Defense Force
1- The Land Forces (ANP)
MBT (Assault tank )
- T-90s ( 305 Units )
- T-72 ( 950 Units)
- Advent modernization in T-72AG
- T-62 (Advent modernization T-62A/K/MK) ( 300 Units)
-275 T-55 Transferred to AFV role, almost were upgraded to AMV format.
300 BMP-2 To be upgraded
600 BTR-60; BTR-80 and OT-64
2500 Panhard AML-60
550 Otokar Akrep
650 EE-9 Cascavel
54 Tpz-1 Fuchs
Howitzers & Rocket Launchers
70-100 2S3 Akatsiya
175 2S1 Gvozdika
298 122 mm howitzer 2A18 (D-30)
35 D-74 122 mm Field Gun
10 130 mm towed field gun M1954 (M-46)
It has been more than two years since a $1.1 billion deal with Raytheon for three intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)-configured Gulfstream 550s was signed. Yet, according to sources, little progress has been made on integrating new systems on the business jets.
The contract, brokered by Algerian Forces joint chief of staff, General Ahmed Gaid Saleh, is causing a scandal in Algeria.
Raytheon, or Greenville-based E-Systems which it bought, has in the past supplied similar ISR-configured business jets, like the Sentinel R1 (Global Express) to the UK RAF. Since then it has been looking to gain a bigger foothold in special mission systems integration, and this deal went some way to achieving that.
The three gulfstream G550s that was ordered by the Algerian Air force
Raytheon regards this kind of work as ‘multi-int ISR’. At the Paris Air Show last June, the company’s vice president, business development, Jim Hvizd, said it had generated around $2 billion in special mission aircraft business over the past four years. He wouldn’t add detail, but it would have included the Algerian G550s, and another G550 destined for the US Navy range support at NAWC Point Mugu.
Not being a systems integrator, the US aerospace giant outsourced the Algerian work to US-owned Field Aerospace, based at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma. This is where the three Gulfstream 550s, N543RN c/n 5543, N546RN c/n 5546 and N550RN c/n 5550 (ex N750GA) are all currently housed.
Field’s past work has included the US Air Force’s KC-10 and KC-135, but among its boasts is that of an ISR integrator. However, it appears no work on the integration of Raytheon’s systems on the three Gulfstream 550s has so far been started.
According to our sources, Field Aerospace has realised it is unable to carry out the integration, with several reasons being cited: “There is not enough power being generated on board the aircraft to keep the multi-spectral systems working and, while a bigger generator is required, it has not been delivered.”
The same source continued: “Secondly, modifications to the aircraft’s airframe to accommodate the system will be so cumbersome, and cause so much drag, that the flight management load systems and on-board software needs to be completely re-written.”
Another issue is that, due to US international traffic in arms regulations (ITAR), sensors like the DB-110 tactical dual band day/night reconnaissance system, an exportable version of the U-2’s SYERS system, have to be downgraded “at added cost to the Algerian Air Force.”
Instead of an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the Gulfstreams are going to be fitted with a ‘repackaged recycled version of the old Raytheon HISAR radar called HISAR 3000, with a mechanical steering antenna.
There’s no robust electronic counter measures (ECM) either, just peacetime functions.
The older HISAR system is already operational on the Algerian Air Force’s fleet of Beech 1900s, acquired in the early 2000s.
Algeria also wanted to integrate two L3 Wescam MX-20 electro optical/infrared turrets, which include a laser-designator. But, under the ITAR restrictions, these are banned.
It is unclear if General Saleh is looking to take legal action against Raytheon for not fulfilling the contract. However, it seems he has now turned his attention to Italy’s Leonardo to supply up to six MC-27J Spartans, which is not going down well with key figures in the Air Force Command. “It is not a dedicated ISR aircraft and the concept of operations doesn’t sit well within our aspirations to have an inter-operable system,” commented one source. “It has been to Algeria, but we weren’t impressed and it is untried by any export customers, so why is he now looking at this aircraft rather than a tried-and-tested strategic ISR platform?”
While all this unfolds, Algeria has seen its plans for an integrated strategic and tactical ISR capability unravel. When asked to comment, Raytheon had not responded by the time African Aerospace was going to press.
Meanwhile, neighbour and long-time foe, Morocco, is also looking to procure four strategic ISR platforms, aimed at defeating Algeria’s deadly S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems and Su-30s multi-role fighters acquired from Russia.
Algeria to Receive Heavily Armed Russian Steregushchiy Class Missile Corvettes
The purchase of three Russian Project 20380 Steregushchiy Class corvettes by the Algerian Navy has reportedly been confirmed, according to a number of local news outlets, with two of the ships currently under construction at the Severnaya Verf shipyards in St Petersburg. The corvettes expected to be received from 2021, and are among the most heavily armed warships of their size in the world with no rivals for this title outside Russia. While small, displacing just 2,200 tons, carrying 90 crew and having an endurance of only 15 days, the warships each deploy twelve vertical launch cells which can accommodate a wide range of missiles. These can include long range cruise missiles for land attack and anti-shipping, as well as medium ranged surface to air missiles derived from those of the land based S-350 air defences system. The ships each further deploy a heavy 100mm naval gun, close in weapons systems, a powerful electronic warfare suite, a hanger for a single helicopter, and eight launchers for torpedoes. They are designed with a steel hull and composite material superstructure, nine watertight subdivisions, and overall have a stealthy design with a reduced radar cross section. Acoustic, infra red, magnetic and visual signatures of the warship are also reduced as part of its emphasis on stealth. With Algeria long having relied on European designs for its surface fleet, in contrast to its predominantly Russian ground forces, Air Force and submarine fleet, the acquisition of the Steregushchiy Class could represent the beginning of a shift towards greater reliance on Russian technologies in this field.
Kalibr Cruise Missile
The firepower deployed by Steregushchiy Class corvettes notably exceeds that of many much larger warships, with Russia having invested very heavily in developing small warships capable of combat with much larger ones and deploying high end weapons usually only found on heavy surface destroyers. The corvette’s vertical launch cells can accomodate long range Kalibr cruise missiles for both land attack and anti shipping roles, the former which have a range exceeding 1,500km and the latter which follow a sea skimming trajectory and can impact targets at high speeds of Mach 3. The ship can also potentially deploy Zicron cruise missiles, although it is uncertain whether these will ever be offered for export, with the missiles having a speed of over Mach 9, a range exceeding 1000km and very high precision. The Zicron is currently considered the world’s most capable anti-ship cruise missile with no near-peer challengers among ship-launched missiles. Even if relying solely the Kalibr, however, the Steregushchiy Class corvette will have superior capabilities to any other class of Algerian surface combatants by a significant margin, and will likely represent the most capable warship of its kind on the African continent. The Algerian Navy notably already deploys Kalibr cruise missiles from its Improved Kilo Class attack submarines, which are also considered the most capable in Africa or the Arab and are referred to as ‘Black Hole’ ships by NATO for their extreme quietness.
On 16 December 2020, an al-Quwwat al-Bahriyya al-Djazairiya (Algerian Naval Forces) Leonardo AW101 Mk610 crashed into the sea off Port de BouHaroun. All three occupants are reported to have died in the crash.
According to a press release, the helicopter was on a training mission when problems occurred. At around 11:25 hrs LT, the AW101 with serial MS-25 (construction number 50232/AN-05) crashed. The helicopter was delivered in 2011 and since operated by 560ème Escadron de Recherche et Sauvetage (560ERS) based at El Boulaida, southwest of the capital Algiers (Algeria).
An investigation into the cause of the accident has started.
Photo: Stephen John Rendle, kindly provided by Air-Britain