The Algerian market for Russia's defense industry is open
One of the main spring news of the world arms market was the announcement of the purchase of four frigates Algeria German project Meko A-200N, the company Thyssen Krupp Marin Systems in the amount of 2.886 billion dollars. Moreover, it seems, is just the beginning of contracting with the Federal Republic of Germany from a package worth almost 10 billion euros, the German Security Council approved in June 2011.
A large by world standards a contract for frigates western production with one of the main Russian military-technical cooperation partners once again raises the question of the future of domestic arms manufacturers in the Algerian market. In this regard, it seems necessary to give a general description of Algeria as the arms market and identify the Russian perspective on it.
We bought the best
Algeria has traditionally been one of the main buyers of the Soviet and then Russian weapons, which, however, did not prevent the country to carry out relatively large purchases of arms and the western states. And no one is surprised by hanging Algerian fighter-bombers MiG-23BN Soviet-American bombs Mk.82.
One of the characteristics of the procurement policy of Algeria was to acquire the most advanced at the time of signing the deal of the weapons system. Thus, even in Soviet times Algeria has become one of the first countries - recipients of combat helicopters Mi-24A, one of the first set there were patrol ships of the project and the 1159T diesel-electric submarines of Project 877 EKM. In recent times it was Algeria - start operator of a foreign trainer aircraft Yak-130.
Collage Andrew Gray
After the collapse of the Soviet Union the scope of military-technical cooperation with Russia, this country has fallen significantly. In the 90's in Algeria a few adjusted safety priorities, and instead of confrontation with Morocco (and to some extent with Libya) in the first place there was the threat of Islamic terrorism, with which the country is struggling with in 1991. During this period, instead of actively purchased new weapons systems used in the CIS: MiG-29 and T-72 tanks - in Belarus, the Su-24M and Il-78M refuellers - in Ukraine, Mi-24 / A of the presence of - in Russia and Ukraine.
Certain changes have occurred in 2000 when he was first signed with respect to a major contract for the repair and modernization in Russia 22 Sukhoi Su-24M. In 2002 he signed a contract for 42 Mi-171 helicopter. He was "a harbinger of" the largest package of contracts for new weapons, which concluded in 2005-2006 at the phenomenal amount - $ 7.5 billion. True, he was accompanied by a cancellation of the Algerian debt to the former Soviet Union in the amount of $ 4.7 billion, but the exchange of Soviet debt hung with uncertain prospects, and maturity, in exchange for the purchase of modern weapons in hindsight it seems justified.
"Inertia" of those contracts was so powerful that even up to 2011 (ie, five or six years from the date of signing) the proportion of Algeria in Russia's arms exports accounted for 15 percent or nearly two billion dollars, earning the country the second largest in the military Russian exports after India.
That first package includes delivery of 28 Su-30MKA 34 fighter MiG-29SMT/UBT, 16 training aircraft Yak-130, eight battalions of S-300PMU-2, 38 ZRPK "Armour-C1 ', 185 T- 90SA, two submarines of Project 636, as well as major contracts for the modernization of previously supplied Soviet equipment and the purchase of large quantities of high-precision weapons.
Although the implementation of this package was overshadowed by the history of the return to Russia (and the subsequent repurchase them at the RAC "MiG" Russian Air Force) is almost completely set MiG-29SMT/UBT fighters, some of which even the Algerian pilots had to fly very actively, ultimately this contract allowed to fill 34 new domestic air combat aircraft. Due to this "disastrous" export contract in 2009 (then replenished with the Russian Air Force 31 of the 34 "Algerian" MiG-29) still holds the record for the number assigned to the Russian Air Force aircraft. However, the "loss" in Algeria MiG-29SMT was somewhat offset by the reorder another 16 Su-30MKI (A).
But despite significant purchases from Russia, Algeria in the 2000s conducted this multi-vector policy on arms suppliers. Draws attention to this fact - the Algerians are mainly purchased in the West are examples of technology that could offer Russia, with a trend increase in the cost of purchased equipment. Thus, in 2002 in Spain was purchased six light military transport aircraft C-295 (worth about $ 130 million), whereas in 2009 it was reported on the conclusion of the company megakontrakta AugustaWestland worth five billion dollars, in which the total planned to purchase 55 light helicopters AW109LUH, five multi-AW139 (with an option for another 10 machines), as well as 42 larger transport helicopters AW101, including the assembly of some of them in Algeria.
Although to date from this number actually known about contracting only about 30 helicopters and AW109 AW139, excluding purchased in 2007 for the Navy EH101 helicopters, six and four Super Lynx, traced a clear dominance of the Anglo-Italian company in the market for transport by helicopter gunships Algeria . Finally, in 2011 signed a contract with Italian company Orizzonte Sistemi Navali for the construction of helicopter landing ship dock, which should also serve as the ship's supplies. Its cost is estimated at 400 million euros. In 2010 signed a contract with STX Europe to supply three ocean-going tugs, rescue workers, the contract price is not less than 50 million euros.
Purchases in Russia
Along with these large contracts, Algeria bought other samples of AME, though not at such a significant amount, eg 100 light armored vehicles Marauder development and production of South Africa's Marauder. That is, to date there is a definite "parity" in the amounts of contracts for military equipment purchased by Algeria in Russia and the West. Under these conditions, can be tempted to say reducing the role of Russia in the arms market of Algeria.
However, analysis of the available evidence indicates that the situation is diametrically opposite. An important factor that can play (and probably already played) in favor of Russia, - the situation in the Middle East, developed after the so-called Arab spring. The change of regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, the struggle over the active participation of the Western countries, particularly Italy, France and the UK suggest that the next goal after Syria could become Algeria, which has so long internal struggle with the Islamists.
In this regard, active buying Western weapons are not always the guarantee of integrity that has demonstrated the fate of Colonel Gaddafi. Finally, the apparent expansion of the scale Tuareg struggle for independence and the high likelihood of large-scale regional conflict may require large-scale purchases of arms just in the niche, which can offer Russia - a reliable and proven systems for the Army and Air Force.
This trend is confirmed by the available information from both sources in the domestic defense industry, and from the Algerian community. For example, in 2011 was awarded a contract for the supply of the second installment of Algeria T-90SA at about 180 units under the option contract to the famous Tank 2006. Deliveries must be made of "NPK" Uralvagonzavod "in 2012-2013. It is believed that in this contract may be followed by another in order to increase the number of modern T-90SA in the Algerian army to 500. And that's not counting the 250 upgraded T-72M1M contract from the "package" in 2006. Confirmation of this hypothesis is the fact that the end of the modernization of Tula, "Instrument Design Bureau" 400 Algerian BMP-2 variant of BMP-2M and negotiations on the conclusion of the next contract for the modernization of BMP-2 of the Algerian army, probably about the same amount. A logical extension of looks and domestic procurement of precision weapons for the Army - ATGM "Kornet-E" and "Metis-M1" is probably the beginning of the procurement of a new anti-tank systems "Chrysanthemum-S" and guided artillery projectiles "Krasnopol-M".
Certain items are stored in the field of naval engineering. Algeria is likely to be the first launch customer for Project 20382 corvette export "Tiger", negotiations on the purchase of which being not less than three years. It seems that in the first tranche will be two corvettes and an option for another couple of similar ships. We can not exclude an additional order a pair of diesel-electric submarines of Project 636, two of which were acquired in the "package" in 2006. Russia retained the modernization of the market previously supplied the ships, having concluded already in 2012 a contract for the modernization of the patrol vessel project 1159T and a small rocket ship project 1234E, despite competition from Spanish shipyards.
Finally, the most promising segment of the traditionally expected in aeronautical engineering. In the future, Algeria will have to find a replacement deprecated, in spite of modernization, more than 40 frontline bombers and scouts Su-24M and 18 MiG-25PD and RBSH. The most likely is the purchase of additional Su-30MKI (A) in order to bring their numbers in the air up to 100-120 units. Given the failure of the purchase of a new lightweight fighter in the face of the MiG-29SMT, political risks associated with the countries - producers of fighter Eurofighter, Rafale and JAS-39 Gripen, there is reason to believe that this niche will probably take Su-35 (the first tranche may amount to 20-30 fighters) with a further (already in the 2020s), the transition to the purchase of a fifth generation fighter T-50. Bulk purchases of aircraft will inevitably entail the acquisition of additional parties trainer aircraft Yak-130 (about 16 units), and taking into account the already ongoing development at the Yak-130 light attack aircraft can be expected orders and modifications of the aircraft impact, potentially bringing the number of the Yak -130 to 50-60 units.
The experience of the military campaign in Libya once again confirmed the need for a strong and modern air defense system. Thus, in the coming years are likely purchase Algerians ZRS medium and shorter range and is likely to Algeria may become the third recipient of the export of S-400 after Belarus and China, but around 2020. It also will continue and the purchase of modern radars, which are carried out in 2009.
Finally, the ongoing counterinsurgency war is placing increased demands on helicopter technology, the existing fleet of combat helicopters Mi-24 / A, and Mi-24 Mk.III already largely outdated physically and mentally to a lesser extent. In this case, virtually no alternative is the purchase of Algeria several dozen combat helicopters Mi-35M and Mi-28NE. Given the fact that last year there were reports of the presence of first export customer for the Mi-28NE is likely they could be just Algeria. You also can not rule out additional purchases Algerian Air Force medium transport helicopter Mi-171E, and possibly upgraded Mi-171A2, as a contract for 42 AW101, it seems, has not yet been finalized, and yes they were originally designed for the needs of the Border Service. Finally, the analysis needs of the Air Force of this country suggests that Algeria will become the order of 10 heavy transport helicopter Mi-26T.
Thus, even rough estimates suggest that the Algerian market retains its potential for the Russian defense industry in the coming years, and contracts with European manufacturers is more evidence of a reasonable diversification of suppliers of Algeria, and Russia is not a sign of loss of its traditional market. In 2012 may well be announced new contracts with Algeria, comparable in terms of megakontraktami 2005-2006. However, the new agreement with the Algerian customers are likely to be based on a different basis, in particular increasing the percentage of offset programs and raising the level of localization.