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Friday, June 30, 2006

Algeria buys Russian subs

ISN SECURITY WATCH (Friday, 30 June 2006: 14.33 CET) – The Algerian Defense Ministry has signed a deal with Russian company Rosvoyoruzheniye for the purchase of two Kilo class submarines.

A source at the St. Petersburg shipyards in which the two vessels will be built informed AFP of the deal on Thursday, on condition of anonymity.

Under the contract the Admiralty shipyard will start work on the first submarine this year and the second in 2007.

Algeria signed a strategic partnership agreement with Russia in 2001.

A US$3.5 billion (2.7 billion euro) deal was penned in March for the Algerian purchase of Russian fighter planes in return for Russia writing off Algerian debt.

The annual Algerian defense budget is estimated at US$2.48 billion, or 3.2% of GDP. The country has sought to diversify its sourcing of military material in recent years but Russia remains the primary supplier.

The Kilos are small electric and diesel powered submarines.

Two Kilo class submarines have been in service with the Algerian navy since 1987, undergoing a refit in 1990.

The Kilos are intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in shallow waters and are thought to be one of the quietest submarine classes in the world.

(By ISN Security Watch staff, AFP, Wikipedia)
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