GABORONE, Botswana — The Algerian Navy has commissioned into service the first of its two Meko A-200 frigates, which were ordered from German naval equipment manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in April 2012.
The vessel, which has since been named Erradii 910, was commissioned into service by Algerian People's National Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah at the Algerian Navy's main base in Algiers on April 19, six days after delivery from Germany. The second vessel is due for delivery in the first half of 2017.
Speaking at the commissioning, which was also attended by Navy commander Major-General Mohamed Larbi Haouli, Salah said the delivery of the new vessel proves the progressive nature of the country's naval modernization program.
He said the vessel, which carries an embarked fleet of six Super Lynx-300 maritime patrol helicopters, will improve the operational, defensive and offensive capabilities of the country's armed forces.
Among other state-of-the-art armaments and navigational and communication equipment, the vessel features the Saab Sea Giraffe AMB (Agile Multi-Beam) 3-D surveillance radar, Saab CEROS 200 radar/electro-optical fire control directors and a Thales UMS4132 King-klip sonar unit.
Its principal armaments include one OTO Melara 127/64 LW (Lightweight) 127mm naval gun, two MSI-Defense 30mm cannons, Rheinmetall Defense MASS soft-kill decoy launchers, Denel Dynamics Umkhonto-IR missiles, MU90 torpedoes and Saab/Diehl Defense RBS 15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles.
Among other pending orders set for delivery within the next three years, the Algerian Navy expects a new Italian-made countermeasures vessel, two Russian-made Tigr corvettes, two Russian-made Project-636E Kilo-class submarines and two Chinese-made C28A, which are still being built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group).