Algerian National Navy

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Algerian Naval Force
Arabic: القوات البحرية الجزائرية
French: Forces navales algeriennes
Algerian Naval badge.svg
Algerian Naval badge
1963 – Present
Country Algeria
RoleNaval warfare
Size30,000 personnel [1]
Part ofAlgerian People's National Armed Forces
Garrison/HQL'AMIRAUTE, Algiers
AnniversariesFebruary 2, 1967
Equipment201 vessels, 30 helicopters, 2 MPA Aircraft
Mohammed Al-Arabi Hawalli
Naval EnsignNaval Ensign of Algeria.svg

The Algerian Naval Force (ANF; Arabic: القوات البحرية الجزائرية‎, French: Forces navales algeriennes) is the naval branch of the Algerian military. The naval force operates from multiple bases along the country's nearly 1,440 km (890 mi) coastline, fulfilling its primary role of monitoring and defending Algeria's territorial waters against all foreign military or economic intrusion. Additional missions include coast guard and maritime safety missions as well a projection of marine forces (fusiliers marins). Algerian forces are an important player in the Western Mediterranean.

As with other Algerian military branches, the naval force was built and structured with assistance from the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but has also relied on other sources for equipment in some areas. Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has remained an important partner, but Algeria has increasingly sought additional sources for equipment as well as building its own shipbuilding capacity.


The Algerian Naval Force played an important role in the western Mediterranean between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. It was a leading military force that ensured not only the defense of the Regency of Algiers, but also of international shipping traveling through the Mediterranean. Notable legendary leaders were the Barbarossa brothers, Kheir Edine and Hassan Agha.

The origins of the Algerian Naval Force (1147 - 1516)

At that time the Maghreb under the control of the Almohad dynasty which also ruled the current Spain "al-Andalus" and 1147 to 1269. The Naval Force was born with the installation by Abd El Moumen naval shipyards the Almohad empire in the ports of Oran and Honaine. But the reign of this great dynasty would soon be glazed at first by a few internal disagreements, mainly related to the difficulties of managing a vast territory. The situation worsened further when a part of the Iberian peninsula again passed under the control of Christian rulers in the wake of the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, the decomposition of the kingdom accelerated with the formation of three states in North Africa. After the total destruction of the kingdom Almohad in 1269 a fierce battle began between Muslims and Christians for control of various ports in the Western Mediterranean, resulting in the occupation by the Spanish in several regions – Algcomme, the Peñon of Algiers, Oran and Bejaia, which led the indigenous peoples of these regions to call on pirates to free the Christian invaders, which was done through sending and Aroudj Hayreddin Barbarossa brothers in 1516, they managed to build a fleet.

Khayr ad-Din

The privateer Oruç Reis, eldest of Khayr ad-Din

Described by some historians as one of the greatest naval admirals in history, the Barbarossa brothers would probably be of Albanian origin, several hypotheses are cited in this regard but none of them have been confirmed definitively, however, the general trend that emerges from the various historical references tends to reinforce the former. In the description given to them, It is said that the youngest Kheire Edine was brighter and stronger corpulence as its big brother while Aroudj Kheir Edine was known for his knowledge in navigation and maritime battles, he was nicknamed Barbarossa . He engaged in piracy for the sole purpose of revenge crossed, especially following his imprisonment for several years in the jails of the Christian rulers, courage and great skill allowed him to escape, fleeing afterwards to Tunis where King Mohamed Ibn Hafss allowed him to build a naval base from which he managed to be the first steps of its military fleet. He moved later to head its fleet to Algeria to its liberation from the Spanish colonization. What he managed to do by releasing initially Algiers, which he conferred the status of capital of a new Algerian state, several years later, he reunites his fleet and left immediately to conquer the last bastion Spanish in Algeria Mers El Kebir, he managed to free.

Phase of construction and consolidation

After the liberation of all the regions that were under Spanish influence, it was therefore quite possible to consider the construction of the Algerian Naval Force, which was undertaken by building initially of four small ships war, over time, a real military industry was born through several shipyards (especially in Cherchell, Bejaia and Algiers) who provided the Algerian Naval Force a considerable number of warships equipped with cannons developed entirely by skills Algerian. From there a new page was opened for Algeria which through its Marine could impose its leadership in the Mediterranean for nearly three centuries.

This rule also allowed him to repel several attacks from a number of European countries, starting with the one that was led by Charles V in October 1541, the troops of the latter were severely defeated by the Algerian fleet which was then under the command Hassan Agha, other attacks were carried out by the Spaniards in the 16th and 17th centuries, but they were all rejected by the Algerian Naval Force.

Other attacks of importance, the American expedition of 1815 and one that led the British and Dutch Marines on Algiers in August 1816, the latter suffered great losses and were prevented from landing at Algiers. However the Algerian armada also lost a large number of vessels.

Ornate Ottoman cannon found in Algiers on 8 October 1581 by Ca'fer el-Mu'allim. Length: 385 cm, cal:178 mm, weight: 2910 kg, stone projectile. Seized by France during the invasion of Algiers in 1830. Musée de l'Armée, Paris.
The bombardment of Algiers by Lord Exmouth, August 1816, painted by Thomas Luny

Some Algerian squadrons took part to the Greek war of independence from 1821 on, as suppletive forces to the Ottoman fleet, and lost several ships in various engagements throughout the war.

In June 1827, Charles X launched a naval blockade on Algiers and three years later a military expedition which finally took the city in 1830. Algeria, endured for a century and 32 years of French rule until July 5, 1962, when the country regained its independence. The Algerian Navy was officially recreated in 1963 by the Ministry of National Defence, then located at Hotel St. Georges.[2]


Principal naval bases are located at Algiers, Annaba, Mers el-Kebir, Oran, Jijel and Tamentfoust. Mers el Kébir is home to the OMCN/CNE shipbuilding facilities where several Algerian vessels have been built. Algeria's naval academy at Tamentfoust provides officer training equivalent to that of the army and the air force academies. The naval force also operates a technical training school for its personnel at Tamentfoust.


The bulk of the Algerian Naval Force is still based on Cold War designs, although work is being done to both acquire new platforms as well as modernize existing equipment. The surface fleet is equipped with a mixture of smaller ships well suited to coastal and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) patrol work. The fleet is led by three Koni class frigates which have been updated with more modern systems. These are due to be augmented in the coming years by a pair of MEKO A-200 frigates which will represent the most modern equipment of the naval force when they enter service, also, Algeria signed a contract with China Shipbuilding Trading Company for the construction of three light frigates about 2,800 tons full load. A mixture of six corvettes and off-shore patrol vessels complement the frigates, while a large number of smaller boats cover the role of coastal patrol. Algeria had maintained a relatively large fleet of Osa class fast attack craft by the end of the Cold War, but it is questionable whether any of these remain in operational use.

Algeria has had a small submarine presence in the Mediterranean with a pair of Kilo class patrol submarines, though the recent acquisition of an additional four upgraded boats will expand this presence significantly. Their amphibious warfare capacity has traditionally been limited with a small group of landing ships essentially for coastal transport roles. This capacity will be greatly upgraded with the planned acquisition of an amphibious transport dock capable of supporting more robust operations. In the area of civil support, the purchase of seagoing rescue tugs will mark the first ability of an African nation to provide valuable services to economic and commercial operators in the Western Mediterranean.

The Algerian military has long maintained a strong veil of secrecy over its organization and equipment, making an exact accounting of operational vessels difficult to ascertain. Open sources are known to vary widely in their reports of several aspects of Algerian equipment.


Class Photo No. Ship Year
Project 636 Messli el Hadj 021 4[3][4] Messali el Hadj (021)
Akram Pacha (022)
El Ouarsenis (031)
El Hoggar (032)
2010–2019 Two project 636M in service since 2010. Two project 636.1 ordered in 2014, commissioned in early 2019.[5][6][7][8]
Project 877EKM
Rais Hadj Mubarek
2 Rais Hadj Mubarek (012)
El Hadj Slimane (013)
1987–1988 Two original Kilo-class submarines in service, delivered in 1987 and 1988.[5] Refitted and upgraded in 1993 and 1996. 2 more on order to be delivered in mid 2021/22[9]
Romeo-class submarine Soviet Romeo-class submarine, 1986 2 Project 633 Used as training ships.[10]

Amphibious warfare vessels[edit]

Class Photo No. Ship Displacement Year
Amphibious transport dock (1)
San Giorgio-class amphibious assault ship BDSL-474.png 1 Kalaat Béni Abbès 9,000 tonnes 2015 Improved San Giorgio, Ordered in 2011(+1 in option)[11][12][13]'
Landing Ships (2)
Kalaat Beni Hammed 2 Kalaat Beni Hammed 2,450 tonnes 1984 Built by Brooke Marine in Lowestoft, UK
Kalaat Beni Rached Built by Vosper Thornycroft in Woolston, UK

Surface combatants[edit]

Class Photo No. Ship Displacement Year
Frigates (8)
MEKO A200 Meko-A200Algeria.jpg 2 Erradi (910)

El-Moudamir (911)

3,700 tonnes 2016-2018 Two in service with the option for two more.[14]
Adhafer-class frigate 353 El Kirch 3 Adhafer
El Fatih
2880 tonnes 2015-2016 Built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation, China.

Armed with NG-16-1(76 mm) main gun, 2 Seven-barrel 30 mm Type 730 CIWS, 2 Quad C-802 missiles

Koni-class frigate 901 Mourad Rais 3 Mourad Rais
Rais Kellik
Rais Korfo
2000 tonnes 1985 Modernized in Russia in 2011.[15]
Corvettes (7)
Nanuchka-class corvette[16] 802 Salah Rais 3 Ras Hamidou
Salah Reis
Reis Ali
660 tonnes 1982 In service, Project 1234E built by Vympel Shipyard in Rybinsk, modernized in 2012.
Djebel Chenoua Class corvette 353 El Kirch 4 Djebel Chenoua
El Chihab
El Kirch
Hassan Barbiear
540 tonnes 2002 Built by OMCN / CNE in Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria.

Armed with 4C802 ASM and AK630 CIWS.

Patrol Boats (55)
Osa II class missile boat Project 205-ER missile boat.jpg 8 1978
Kebir class patrol boat 14 El Yadekh 250 tonnes 1982 The first two units built by Brooke Marine.
FPB98 MKI Ocea class patrol boat 21 Denebi 2008-2011 Built by Ocea France.[17][18]
Alusafe 2000 Salvamar Deneb.JPG 12[19] El Mounkid 2016 Produced locally[20]
Mine countermeasures (2)
Lerici-class minehunter Katanpää Särkänsalmi 06.JPG 2 El-Kasseh 1
El-Kasseh 2
600 tonnes 2016-2018 In service.[21]

Fleet auxiliaries[edit]

Class Photo No. Ship Displacement Year
Survey ship
El Idrissi 673 El Idrissi 540 tonnes 1980 Built by Matsukara Zosen in Hirao, Japan.
Training ship
Soummam Soummam 937 Soummam 5,500 tonnes 2006 5,500 tons (full load).
EL Mellah Segelschiff El Mellah.jpg 938 El Mellah (the sailor) 2017 A three mast tall ship constructed in Gdańsk, Poland.
Salvage ship
El Mourafik 261 El Mourafik 600 tonnes 1990 Built in China
High Seas Tow Vessel
El Mounjid Rescue Tug El Mousif in the English Channel MOD 45165130.jpg 701 El Mounjid 3,200 tonnes 2012 Type UT 515 CD built in Norway and Motorization by Rolls-Royce.
702 El Moussif
703 El Moussanid


An Algerian Navy AW101
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Westland Super Lynx United Kingdom ASW 130/140 7 3 on order[22]
AgustaWestland AW139 Italy light utility 3[22]
AgustaWestland AW101 United Kingdom / Italy SAR / utility 6[22]


Algerian Sailors conduct Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO).

The Naval force is currently being upgraded with the following technological developments: the existing units are being modernized, with the submarine force strengthened by two new Kilo class submarines (last generation).[23]

  • One LPD from Italy in 2014.
  • Four MEKO A200 frigates from Germany.
  • TYPE 054A frigates
  • AIP Submarines
  • Three corvettes C28A with option of three more produced locally. Radar and electronic equipment will be supplied by Thales, and mounted in Algeria. They will be built at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard.[24][25][26]
  • Six Project 20382 "Tigr" corvettes from Russia.
  • 21 units of the type FPB98 MKI Ocean Patrol Boat.[17][18]
  • 12 units of Alusafe 2000 high speed rescue and patrol vessel.[27]



Anti-ship Missiles[edit]

Air to ground Missiles[edit]

  • Mokopa - the Algerian Navy's six new Super Lynx 300-series helicopters are conducting flight tests armed with Mokopa anti-armour missiles.
  • Raptor-2 Precision-Guided Glide Bomb series from South Africa[34]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Algerian Naval Forces - Marine History - Historical Preview". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
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  12. ^ Le nouveau bâtiment de projection algérien Archived 2013-04-13 at the Wayback Machine, 13/09/2012
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-04-28. Retrieved 2018-04-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  17. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2013-11-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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External links[edit]