In 2023, more than 22 billion dollars should be allocated to defense issues, according to the finance bill adopted by the Algerian National Assembly on Tuesday (November 22nd).
This increase in the military budget, first announced in October, can be explained in particular by the need to renew military equipment, notes Akram Kharief, an Algerian journalist specializing in defense issues. ” These equipments need updates and improvements, especially those which were bought during the big agreement of 2007, with Russia. This is the fleet of fighter jets, submarines, anti-aircraft equipment. All this requires a mid-life review “, he says. ” I also think that Algeria is thinking about new acquisitions and preparing to modernize its army. »
Another budget-consuming question: the revaluation of pensions claimed by retired army personnel. And according to Akram Kharief, the growing involvement that Algeria could have in the Sahel may explain this budgetary effort. ” In particular by collaborating with neighboring armies, such as Niger, I think that Algeria is gradually moving towards establishing a sort of permanent aid to the Nigerien army to deal with the problem of terrorism. And by extension also, to deal with the problem of jihadism that exists in the other regions of the Sahel. Finally, security issues in the Mediterranean are also among the priorities of the Algerian authorities.
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Algiers could obtain supplies from Rome, Berlin, Beijing… or Paris
It remains to be seen to which suppliers Algeria, one of the main military powers in Africa, will turn to renew its equipment. Because the war in Ukraine has also reshuffled the cards for the Algerian armed forces, largely equipped so far by Russia. But in recent months, Moscow has prioritized its war over exports. And on the Ukrainian front, Russian equipment did not shine with its quality.
So Algiers, which lack of liquidity thanks to the explosion of gas prices and oil, now look elsewhere. ” Algeria now allows itself to choose. Basically, it equips itself in Russia, but evaluates the performance of Russian equipment and, in the event of failure or poor quality, obtains supplies from other partners, observes journalist Akram Kharief. So it will probably benefit countries like Italy, Germany, China and maybe France too. Paris is improving its relations with Algiers, which was in the past a very reliable partner and supplier for the Algerian army. »
It is likely that Algiers will sign major arms contracts in the next few months, either with the Europeans or the Russians, or even with Beijing. In recent years, China has become the National People’s Army’s second largest arms supplier.
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