Algerian Air Forces Orders 12 Bombers from Russia

The Algerian Air Force has recently placed an order for a dozen Sukhoi (Su-34) “Fullback” fighter bombers from Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association, a Russian aircraft manufacturer, in order to gradually replace their aging fleet of MiG-25s from the Soviet-era. These aging MiG-25s have been patiently awaiting retirement from service as the Algerian Air Force has been undergoing a force modernization program.

According to Chkalov Sergei Smirnov, the Director General of Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association, it took roughly eight years of relentless negotiations for Algeria to finalize their decision to purchase the Su-34 fighter bombers. Smirnov also reported that the Algerian Air Force has shown interest in the long-term purchase of upgraded versions of Sukhoi’s Su-24 “Fencer,” which would meet the changing needs and requirements of Algeria’s ongoing force modernization and re-orientation program. Smirnov did not release any further details of the sale.

The order for 12 Sukhoi Su-34’s is speculated to be a part of the $7.5 billion Algerian-Russian arms deal which was signed in March of 2006 for the supply of land, aviation, and sea-ward defense technologies and equipment as well as anti-missile systems. Igor Korotchenko, a top Russian military expert, informed RIA Novostin late last year that the deployment of the Su-34 Fullback fighter bomber in Syria on combat duty will help potential buyers in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, as well as in Africa, as they will be able to evaluate the aircrafts performance and decide on whether to purchase it or not.

"Several countries in Africa, including Uganda and Nigeria, which [are] waging a war against Boko Haram, could buy the Su-34,” said Korotchenko. “Such top of the range fighter bomber aircraft could also strengthen Ethiopia's Air Force, which still operates a large fleet of aging Su-27 fighters."

The Su-34 fighter bomber has also been cultivating interest from Iraq, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, while Kazakhstan currently operates a squadron which was acquired from Russia.

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