in Defence

Algeria to get 14 Su-57 fighters from Russia

Posted 24 November 2020 · Add Comment

Algeria has reportedly signed a contract to purchase 14 Russian Su-57 fighters, becoming the first customer of the fifth-generation stealth jets outside Russia. Jay Menon reports.

 Image: Sukhoi Company.

Russia’s Sputnik News reports that the Abdelmadjid Tebboune government bought the fighters from Moscow for nearly US$2 billion.

Russia is expected to start the deliveries from 2025.

 

Algeria has been in active negotiations with Russia to acquire 12 to 14  Su-57 fighters with the possibility of increasing the order to 24 combat aircraft, Sputnik says.

 

Algeria’s decision to buy the aircraft from Russia comes as a result of  a U.S. decision to sell Algeria’s rival and neighbour Morocco 25 F-16C/D Block 72 fighters. The U.S. will also upgrades Morocco’s 23 existing F16s to the more advanced F16V Block 52+ configuration at a total estimated cost of US$4.8 billion.

 

Morocco and Algeria share cold relations due to several political issues, including Algiers’ position on Western Sahara.

 

The Algerian Air Force currently operates Su-30MKA and MiG-29 as its primary combat aircraft, and Su-24 and Mig-25 for attack and intercepting roles.

 

Algeria is one of the leading arms clients of Russia, which supplies 67 per cent of Algiers’ weapons.

 

The Su-57 aircraft has been in development since 2002 and is considered a key part of Russia's arms export industry as a fifth-generation fighter to compete with rival systems such as America's F-35 aircraft.

 

Ryan Bauer, a defence analyst, said: “Despite continued Russian efforts to sell the aircraft, it is unlikely that a fully developed and full production–ready Su-57 will be available for sale before the late 2020s. Even fully developed, the Su-57 will likely have attributes of another modernized fourth-generation heavy fighter bomber, the F-15EX, lacking in the LO features of the F-35 but having an all azimuth sensing capacity of that fifth-generation combat aircraft.”

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