Algeria’s military capacity would allow it to block access to the Strait of Gibraltar

The military call this a denial of access bubble. Clearly, it is a question of preventing access to a place thanks to its military capabilities. According to General Philippe Moralès, the commander of French air defense and air operations, quoted by the specialized site Opex 360Algeria now has the possibility of prohibiting access to the Strait of Gibraltar.

Submarines and cruise missiles

Admiral Pierre VandierChief of Staff of the National Navy, believes that the Algerian Navy has resources that France does not yet have, or only recently. “Algeria has had Kilo-type submarines equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles since 2016, five years before us”, explains the Admiral. These Russian cruise missiles can be fired under the surface. The Algerian Navy holds six russian submarines, all capable of firing these Kalibr missiles. France had to wait for the development of the nationally designed naval cruise missile to have this capability. His first shot was in 2020.

Algeria has greatly increased its military capacity by multiplying acquisitions from Russia, and by devoting an annual budget of 2.3 billion euros to it for fifteen years. Result: the face of the Algerian army has changed profoundly. Submarines, surface ships, airplanes; in 2014, Algeria even had Italian shipyards Fincantieri build the Kalaat Beni Abbesa landing and support ship.

"Kalaat Beni Abbes" helicopter carrier of the San Giorgio class of the Algerian Navy.  (MESSAOUD MESBOUK/ CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-SHARE ALIKE 4.0 INTERNATIONAL)

"Kalaat Beni Abbes" helicopter carrier of the San Giorgio class of the Algerian Navy.  (MESSAOUD MESBOUK/ CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-SHARE ALIKE 4.0 INTERNATIONAL)

Means on which returned the French deputies Jean-Jacques Ferrara and Philippe Michel-Kleisbauer in their report on “defence issues in the Mediterranean”. According to them, Algeria now has “access denial and area denial capabilities in the western Mediterranean, through an anti-aircraft defense system composed of S-300 and soon S-400 and advanced radar systems”.

Deterrent

“If the extent of this rearmament, despite the severe economic crisis, raises questions about the objectives pursued by the Algerian army, several officers of the French intelligence interviewed within the framework of this parliamentary report considered that Algeria has no desire at this stage to project power“, writes Algeria Part Plus.

“The massive rearmament carried out by the ANP (People’s National Army, editor’s note) would obey mainly dissuasive intentions, in particular with regard to the Moroccan rival to whom it is necessary to send a strategic signal”, continues the website. Algeria would therefore not intend to engage in a naval battle.

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