US maneuver with sale of F-16s to Morocco pushes Algeria to buy Russian Su-57

ALGIERS, (BM) – A US maneuver with the sale of F-16 aircraft to Morocco helped Russia find a client for the Su-57 fighter. Such data are cited by the African media, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing PolitRussia.

Read more: Russia creates military bases in six African countries, Germany said

Some time ago, the media revealed information about Algeria’s intentions to sign a contract for the purchase of 14 Russian Su-57 fighters. The deal is estimated at $2 billion. According to journalists, this decision was due to the acquisition of American F-16 aircraft by Morocco. This is reported by the Morocco World News. “PolitRussia” exclusively for its readers presents excerpts from this material.

“The United States supplies Morocco with 91% of its weapons, the rest comes from France and Great Britain <….> Russia is the second largest arms supplier to the Maghreb countries, and Algeria is one of its most loyal customers,” the authors of Morocco World News note.

The purchase of the Su-57 will make Algeria the first country on the southern Mediterranean coast to have fifth-generation stealth aircraft. At the same time, a number of news agencies report this deal as a fait accompli. It is alleged that the contract for the supply of aircraft has already been signed. Analysts stated that they were not surprised by this development of events, since this state has been showing interest in Russian combat vehicles for a long time, and is also a traditional client of the Russian military industry. In addition, Morocco’s purchase of American F-16 fighters had an impact. The fact is that between Morocco and Algeria, rather cool relations have developed, caused by some political contradictions.

In addition, it is reported that Algeria could have signed two more contracts with Russia for the purchase of 14 Su-34 supersonic fighter-bombers and 14 Su-35 fighters. The contract is likely to be completed by 2025. “Algeria is ranked 28th out of 138 countries in terms of potential military power, according to analysts from Global Firepower,” the journalists added.

China, India, Turkey, Algeria and Myanmar as a potential Buyers of Russia’s Su-57

The US online media The National Interest, which focuses on the global defence industry, has come up with a short list of five nations that are more likely to buy Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet, the Su-57, as the aircraft is about to be delivered to the Russian Air Force.

One of these countries could be Turkey, which has essentially been kicked out of the F-35 programme by the US over its purchase of S-400 air defence systems from Moscow. The new Russian stealth jet was presented by Vladimir Putin to the Turkish president last summer, with the latter wondering whether Ankara could buy the aircraft.

Another potential buyer is Algeria, which has long been an importer of Soviet and now Russian-made armaments and equipment. Namely, the country is speculated to have bought S-400 air defence systems from Moscow in 2015, according to The National Interest. However, Moscow has never confirmed selling the air defence systems to the North African state. The magazine further pointed out that Algeria has also shown interest in the Su-35 – a predecessor of the Su-57 – which has only a small difference in terms of its price per plane.

Myanmar could eventually also show interest in the top Russian jet, according to the media outlet. The magazine argued that the Su-57 would be of little use to the government in its fight against multiple domestic insurgencies due to the jet’s focus on maintaining air superiority – but the latter could still be of interest to the country, according to The National Interest.

The “air specialisation” of the Su-57 could also hinder its entry onto the Chinese market, with Beijing already developing its own fifth generation stealth jet, the J-20, which focuses on penetrating enemy defences and delivering ground strikes, according to the media outlet. China may still be interested in acquiring Su-57s for training purposes, as well as to study it for technologies that could be applied in the domestically produced fighter jet, the magazine pointed out.

Read more: Algeria plans to invest around $2B for aircraft, including Su-57, media reported

Read more: Top 5 best Russian fighter jets – 4++ and 5th generations

As a result of China’s interest in the Su-57, India may also be incentivised to acquire the cutting-edge Russian warplane, the media outlet added. According to The National Interest, the Indian Air Force has already “cautiously” signalled interest in the jet. Moscow and New Delhi previously tried to jointly build a fifth-generation jet under the FGFA programme, but India eventually withdrew from it in 2018.

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