Want to know what planes the Algerian air force use? Looking for into on air force bases in Algeria? Read our guide for more facts & information…
The Algerian air force is a branch of the Algerian military and was formed in 1963 following Algerian independence. Many of the pilots and flight and support crews received their training in the French military service. Most of the aircraft have been purchased from Russia, but Algeria has also expressed interest in purchasing military aircraft from China. In 2006 their inventory included 80 modern fighters, 104 jet combat aircraft, 73 transport and patrol aircraft, 31 trainers and 191 helicopters operating from 15 air force bases.
Air Force at Ain Beide
The newest of the Algerian air force bases is located at Ain Beide, and although it officially opened in 2004, construction was still continuing in 2010. The base features two runways of over 3.6 kilometers in length with wide taxiways which run parallel to the runways. It also has the usual administrative and support facilities with Hardened Aircraft Shelters. Most of the continuing construction is for additional Hardened Aircraft Shelters.
Algerian Air force Accidents
The Algerian Air Force has an excellent safety record and has not had any war casualties since the 1973 conflict with Israel. A crash near the Bousfer Air Force Base in 2000 killed a young man in his home, but the pilot ejected safely. In a crash near Mecheria in 2003 the pilot was killed and in the 2005 crash of a training plane near Tafraoui both the student and the instructor were killed. Another plane crashed during a training exercise at Bousfer Air Base in 2005 but no information on the pilot was available. A 2007 crash at Bousfer Air Base burned some vegetable fields, but the pilot safely ejected.
Return of Mig 29 to Russia for Quality Issues
The Algerian Air Force returned 15 Mig 29 aircraft to the Russian manufacturer Rosoboronexport for quality issues citing the use of inferior components. The fifteen aircraft were the first part of a delivery of thirty five planes that had been ordered. Algeria ceased payments on other unrelated military contracts to Russia following the problems with the aircraft. Rosoboronexport officials were negotiating with the Algerian government, but some sources believed that Algeria might order the French Dassault Rafale aircraft instead noting changes in the political climate.
The Algerian Air Force is a modern, well equipped and trained aerial fighting force with an excellent safety record. It operates from a total of 15 air bases located throughout the country. Algeria has one of the strongest military presences in the Middle East.