Russia denies Algeria's order for Su-34 strike fighters

Russia Algeria Su34 order
Sukhoi Su-34 strike fighter.

In recent days, many media have published about Algeria's purchase of Sukhoi Su-34 fighter bombers. The news came from Menadefense who, quoting the Russian press, confirmed the procurement by Algiers of a first batch of 14 Su-34E jets.

According to the African media, Russia has already started production of the first six aircraft in January, which will be delivered by the end of the year to the Algerian Air Force for the training of instructor pilots.

Menadefense also adds that if Algeria were satisfied with the performance of the aircraft, it would purchase two more batches.

When the ten-year saga about this deal seemed to have come to a happy ending, a few hours later a Russian officer denied the news. A spokesperson for Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) said the nation is not producing any aircraft for Algeria. This statement also definitively denies the news relating to the Su-57E order by the Algerian government.

The rumors of the agreement between Russia and Algeria for the Su-34 have been circulating for several years now, some media had already given the order for sure in 2016.

The effectiveness shown by the Su-34 during the Syrian Civil War has led many nations to target the aircraft, especially Algeria which has long been looking to a modern fighter bomber after having withdrawn the MiG-25 Foxbat fleet in 2016.

However, a future agreement between Moscow and Algiers cannot be ruled out. The two nations have been doing defense deals since the beginning of Algerian independence in the early 1960s. That relationship was driven primarily by Algeria's debt to Russia for the $ 4.74 billion long-term loan that the latter provided after the Algerian War. This debt was then largely repaid by Algiers through the purchase of Russian combat planes for $ 7.5 billion. Today it is estimated that 80% of Algeria's armament comes from Russia.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credit: Russian MoD

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