Three years ago, Algeria had placed an order for a 96 metre corvette from China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group (HZ), a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) to be delivered within the next two years.
The Corvette, a Type 056 (also called the F-15A) El Moutassadi (940) last week entered Algerian waters after transiting the Malaysia coast in March for it’s delivery.
According to Lloyd Register, a UK-based maritime classification society, El Moutassadi (940) is designed for patrol, escort and maritime protection missions within the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Compared to vessels of the same type used by China, Algeria’s El Moutassadi (940) has a larger size, longer range, better endurance, more stable and reliable propulsion system, larger and more convenient living spaces and combat systems more suitable for the Algerian navy.
The Type 056 is suited for lower-end blue-water combat operations, with a 15-day endurance for combat missions such as patrol, escort, and protection of EEZ maritime interests within 200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km) from the coast, freeing up larger warships for open ocean deployment.
In August 24, 2021, photographs were released by the Chinese shipbuilder showing the Type 056 class corvette for the Algerian Navy undergoing sea trials.
The type displaces 1500 tons, and incorporates low radar cross-section hull design providing stealth features, and has a crew of 78 people with a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h), and a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h).
Surface armament is reported as an AK-176 76 mm naval gun, two H/PJ-17 30 mm autocannons, and four YJ-83 anti-ship missiles. FL-3000N surface-to-air missiles are carried in a single eight-cell launcher. Finally, there are two triple-tube 324 mm torpedo launchers, which may carry Yu-7 light ASW torpedoes.
The Type 056A incorporates a passive towed-array sonar system and an active variable-depth sonar. All PLAN corvettes are thought to be fitted with hull-mounted sonar, air-and-surface-search radars, as well as electronic jammers and decoy launchers to protect against missile attack.
The basic Type 056 is equipped with a Type 347G (LR66) radar and bow-mounted sonar. The Type 056A adds towed array and variable depth sonars (VDS). The class of corvette has a helicopter deck for a Z-9-sized helicopter, but no hangar.
The corvette will have a helipad and a crew of 78 people, has a range of 3 500 nautical miles and is capable of top speeds in excess of 27 knots.
Hudong-Zhonghua had previously constructed three 2 800 tonne C28A corvettes for the Algerian Navy between 2013 and 2016. The C28A is a 120 metre long corvette, armed with a 76 mm main gun, FM-90N launcher for HQ-7 surface-to-air missiles and YJ-82/C-802 anti-ship missiles.
The Type 056 is in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy and has been exported to Nigeria as the 95 metre long 1 800 ton P18N patrol vessel and Bangladesh as the 90 metre long 1 300 ton C13B corvette.