Last Monday, 1 August, the Italian shipbuilder Orizzonte Sistemi Navali confirmed that the Algerian government has ordered an amphibious transport dock ship for its navy, to be built in Italy.
Details about the deal are still unclear but it seems, that Algeria wants to buy a ‘San Giorgo’ class ship. The Italian navy has already three ships of this class in service.
The ‘San Giorgo’ class ships are 133 meters long with a displacement of 7,650 ts. The ship is equipped with a large carrier-style helicopter landing deck and can accommodate up to five medium transport helicopters like the UH-1. Armament consists of one single Oto Melara 76/67 gun and two Oerlikon 20mm guns for close-in defense. One battalion of Marines with 36 APCs (armoured personnel carrier) or 30 MBTs (main battle tank) can be carried, three landing craft in the floodable stern section can be used to land the troops.
Last year Algeria bought two additional Kilo class Diesel submarines from Russia after it already purchased two in the late 80s. Also from Russia came two of the newest Russian guided-missile corvettes.
The Algerian government is upgrading the capabilities of the country’s navy mainly because it wants better protection of its almost 1000 kilometers of coast line against smuggling, illegal migration and terrorist activities.