The Algeria Navy has commissioned two new submarines, the Ministry of National Defence announced on 9 January.
The commissioning took place during a visit by Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaïd Salah to the Mers el-Kébir naval base. The submarines are called
Ouarsenis (031) and Hoggar (032).
Russian media reported in February 2014 that Algeria had ordered two new Project 636M ‘Kilo’-class boats from Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg.
Ouarsenis (031) and Hoggar (032) are part of a 2013 order for two new Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) vessels from Russia. Ouarsenis arrived Algerian ports around mid-2018.
The tear-drop hulled submarine is 72.6m long, 9.9m wide and can dive to 300 meters. Underwater, it reportedly has a speed of up to 25 knots. The submarine has an endurance of 45 days. The crew consists of 52 people.
These new submarines are an improvement on the two Project 636M Kilo-class submarines already in Algerian service and are largely intended for coastal defense, particularly of Algeria’s rich offshore oil and natural gas deposits.
The attack submarines are intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in shallow waters. The Project 636 boats have improved sonar systems, 533 mm torpedoes and is fitted with six 533 mm torpedo tubes and carries up to 18 homing or wire-guided torpedoes, or 24 AM-1 mines. The type can also be fitted with four Kalibr cruise missiles.
Algeria has apparently also ordered two additional Kilo 877EKM vessels, for delivery in 2020-2022, bringing the total up to six.