Algerian army in disarray as Russian supplies plummet

Algerian army in disarray as Russian supplies plummet

Algeria is rushing to find an alternative to Russian arms which has fallen sharply due to the war effort in Ukraine.

Algeria has for long been the third buyer of Russian arms which make up more than 80% of its arsenal. The war in Ukraine has disrupted major transactions, including a 7 billion-dollar-deal to buy Russian weapons.

Russia has lost tanks and geared its war industry to meet the needs of its army in Ukraine where its assumptions for blitzkrieg failed giving way to what seems to be a protracted war of attrition on both sides.

Algerian kingmaker and chief of staff Saied Chengriha has raised the army’s budget to a record 23 billion dollars this year as he struggles to find suppliers. He visited France as well as Brasil to seal supply deals.

Yet replacing Russia would prove to be a daunting task and a long-term endeavor that will disrupt the interoperability of its Russian arsenal.

Even Russian proxies such as the Wagner group are complaining of a shortage of arms supply. The paramilitary group’s chief Evgueni Prigojine said it only received 10% of promised arms.

As Russia burns through its stockpile of arms and drafts long-mothballed soviet-era tanks back into service, Moscow’s arms exports are taking a backseat to supply the war effort.

Russian weapons transactions have also been hit by Western sanctions along with Russian military industry. The center for International Strategic Studies said in a recent report that sanctions have disrupted supply chains of the Russian defense industry, especially in the areas of semiconductors, night-vision technology and avionics.

The war in Ukraine was also a tough test of Russian military equipment. So far, Ukrainian resistance, buoyed by Western armament, is giving a hack of a lesson to Putin’s troops on multiple battlegrounds, casting a shadow of doubt on the efficiency of Russian arms.

Maintenance is also an issue as the Algerian army would struggle to receive Russian technicians and engineers for reparation.

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