In late April the Algerian National Navy commissioned the newly built frigate Erradii, the first of at least two German-designed and -constructed MEKO A-200-class warships planned for the North African nation. The MEKO A-200s are similar to the 3,600-ton (full load) Amatola (Valour) class built in the early 2000s for the South African Navy. The Algerian variants reportedly will carry a diverse mix of advanced international weapons, including Swedish RBS-15 Mk-3 antiship missiles, Franco-Italian MU-90 antisubmarine-warfare torpedoes, South African Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missiles, an Italian 5-inch gun, and the German MASS soft-kill decoy launcher. The warships also will be fitted with the Sea Giraffe AMB 3-D surveillance radar and Kingklip hull-mounted sonar. Algeria recently ordered six Super Lynx 300 naval helicopters for use on board the Erradii and her sister, which is expected to enter service in 2017. Two additional units may be ordered in the near future.
By Eric Wertheim