On 9 January the Ministry of National Defence announced, Algeria Navy has commissioned two new submarines. The commissioning took place during a visit by Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaïd Salah to the Mers el-Kébir naval base. The Kilo class diesel-electric attack submarines are called Ouarsenis (031) and Hoggar (032). These new submarines are an improvement on the two Project 636M Kilo-class submarines already in Algerian service and are largely intended for coastal defense, particularly of Algeria’s rich offshore oil and natural gas deposits.
The decision of Algeria to buy additional submarines from Russia is evidently connected with growth of tension in the region with regard to events of the “Arab spring.” The source explained that the contractor for the order was chosen “in accordance with wishes of the customer country.” In 2020, Admiralty Shipyards supplied two submarines of project 636 to Algeria in the framework of fulfillment of the contract of 2006 (its value amounted to about $600 million).
Type 636M Kilo-class submarines was designed by central maritime design bureau Rubin. It is considered one of the most silent diesel submarine in the world. Its length amounts to 73.8 meters, width amounts to 9.9 meters and displacement amounts to 2,350 cubic meters. Underwater speed amounts to 20 knots, the maximal submersion depth amounts to 300 meters. The crew consists of 52 people. The submarine is armed with four missiles (the quantity may be increased), 18 torpedoes and 24 mines.
Kilo-class submarines represents a modernized submarine of project 877EKM Varshavyanka supplied to seven countries including Algeria between the 1980s and 1990s. Two submarines of project 877EK were built for Algeria at Admiralty Shipyards in the 1980s. In 2005, Admiralty Shipyards together with Rubin design bureau signed a contract on repair of these two submarines and in 2006 Algeria decided to buy two new submarines. Thus, in case of signing of a new contract the navy of Algeria will have six submarines made in Russia.