Algeria could become the first foreign customer of the Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter. Defense press rumors suggest that the African country would have acquired 14 supersonic jets for about $2 billion. However, the deal has not been confirmed by the Russian government or UAC, its manufacturer.
Last week, the Military Watch website commented on the possibility of closing the deal, however, without pointing to a source. The article ended up echoing on several sites that have considered the agreement concluded, but without a reliable source.
In late September, however, a top Russian government official visited Algeria on a trade mission. Dimitry Shugayev, Director of the Federal Commission for Military and Technical Cooperation, handed over to the Chief of Staff Saïd Chengriha of Algeria a model of the Su-57, indicating that the advanced fighter was one of the subjects that were discussed during the visit.
Located in North Africa, in part of the Sahara desert, Algeria is a former French colony that gained its independence in 1962. The country’s air force is a major customer of Russian aircraft, especially fighter planes. According to Flight Global, Algeria owned 58 Su-30 jets, 23 Su-24 attack aircraft, 32 MiG-29 fighters and 13 MiG-25 interceptors in 2019.
The potential purchase of the Su-57, the first Russian 5th gen fighter, would serve precisely to replace the old “Foxbat” fighters, which are expensive to maintain. At the same time, the deal will assist in the development of the stealth aircraft, which suffers from low financial resources, despite the denials of the Russian government.
The sale of a state-of-the-art fighter is considered unlikely because it involves sensitive technology. The US, for example, has refuted Israel’s attempts to order the F-22 Raptor fighter, despite the good relationship between the two countries.
The same situation occurs with the Chinese fighter J-20, considered a national secret. For this reason, the Putin government’s announcement to offer ‘Felon’ on the foreign market sounds like a way to guarantee the future of the jet.