The Algerian Air Force (AAF) or the “Quwwat Al Al Al Jawia Jaza’eria is the air power of the People’s National Army, the armed forces of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.
It was formed after gaining independence from France in 1962 with the first aircraft acquired from Russia, Egypt and the USA. Mostly former Soviet Union built combat aircraft were subsequently utilized over the years until the present day.
As early 1978, the AAF was composed of 5,000 men equipped with 230 combat aircraft, consisting of 120 x MiG-21MF, 28 x Su-7BMK, 24 x IL-28 and 20 x CM-170 and 20 x MiG-15 for training.
Only towards the end of 1978 AAF received the first batch of 50 x MiG-23 and later the he Mikoyan-Gurevich Foxbat MiG-25M, while the of the MiG-21 were finally retired in 2003. The Algerian Air Force has been introducing new equipment during the year with Lockheed C130s Raytheon Be1900s, Eurocopter AS 355 and Mi-171s, and upgrading existing Su-24s, MiG-25s and Mi-24s.
And as such Algeria has been looking increasingly towards Europe, the US and South Africa for future support. It was reported in late 2009 Algerian Air Force is considering the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Saab JAS 39 Gripen NG or Dassault Rafale to fulfill its modernization drive. But 28 x Su-30MKA were later delivered in the same year, with another option for sixteen aircraft (replacing the refused 34 x MiG-29SMT). The transport fleet is being modernized with the purchase of 12 x EADS CASA C-295 and an unknown number of Mi-171.
Algeria is also considering the acquisition of an airborne early warning and control capability, with the Saab Erieye and Boeing 737AEW&C potential candidates to fulfill this role.
According to Jane's Assessment (Jane's World Air Forces dated: Dec 05, 2011) the Algerian Air Force is
Traditionally the most effective air arm in the Maghreb.
Commander of Air Defense Force: Brigadier General Achour Laoudi
Air Force Personnel Strength: 14,000
Flying Hours: 150 hrs/year
Aircraft Inventory Summary:
- Combat: 271(total), 241 (in service)
- Transport: 52 (total), 47 (in service)
- Helicopters: 183 (total), 183 (in service)