The Algerian Navy could receive a second Landing Platform Dock (LPD) from Fincantieri under a shipbuilding cooperation agreement developed by Rome and Algiers.
A recent joint shipbuilding agreement between Algeria and Italy was entered in January when Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited Algeria to boost cooperation between the two countries. Besides naval shipbuilding, both countries also discussed energy deals. The agreement was discussed during the 13th Italy-Algeria Bilateral Committee at the end of November.
At the meeting, Algeria stated that it desires to partner with Italy in the procurement of military equipment, as well as the preparations of the military-industrial sector of this country in starting cooperation that includes exchange, technology transfer, training and targeted training for crews and technicians working in Algeria.
Italian Fincantieri could work with Algeria’s Établissement de Construction et de Reparation Navale (ECRN) to supply a Landing Platform Dock and other vessels to the Algerian naval force.
Fincantieri has already built and delivered one Enhanced San Giusto-class LPD named Kalaat Beni-Abbes in 2011. Kalaat Beni-Abbes LPD was launched on 8 January 2014 at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Riva Trigosa. The vessel was delivered to the Algerian Navy on 4 September 2014 but did not arrive in Algeria until March 2015.
The LPD features an internal floodable dock measuring 20.5x7m, capable of accommodating a ready-to-go 20m landing craft and two other landing craft of the same size travelling attached to the ship’s deck. The ship is fitted with an EMPAR radar for detecting long-range threats, and 16 Aster 15 missiles in two vertical A-50 launchers, as well as a 76 mm turret and two Oerlikon KBA 25×137 mm cannons that can be used for defence against aircraft or surface targets. The vessel also has a complete electronic warfare suite provided by Thales and Elettronica, linked to two SCLAR-H Oto-Melara decoy launchers.
Over the past decade, Algeria has ordered a number of vessels from Moscow and China and maintained its fleet of older Soviet-era equipment. Algeria operates several Soviet-era vessels, including three Nanuchka-class corvettes due to retire in 2025 and three Koni-class frigates retiring slightly later in 2030.
Kalaat Beni-Abbes features the same EMPAR radar used on Italian Horizon-class destroyers and the aircraft carrier Cavour, giving it considerable anti-air warfare (AAW) capabilities.
The second LPD for Algeria could be based on another Enhanced San Giusto-class LPD being built by Fincantieri for Qatar Al Fulk. Qatari Al Fulk LPD was launched in January.
Meanwhile, the Algerian air force intends to acquire all-new AW249 attack helicopters and seven AW-139 helicopters from Italian Leonardo. This was revealed at the thirteenth session of the Algerian-Italian Bilateral Committee for Cooperation in the Defense Sector held on November 30 last year, at the Guidoni Palace in the capital, Rome, which is the headquarters of the General Secretariat of Defense and the National Directorate of Armaments in Italy.