China Arming Algeria To Fight Its “New Generation Wars”

Wing Loong II.

Wing Loong II.

“… For some time now, the leaders of the Algerian army have been constantly talking about the need to prepare for new forms of war, especially regarding virtual and electronic warfare, and the benefits of cybersecurity…”

Chinese weapons and technology continue to play a prominent role in meeting some of Algeria’s contemporary military needs, most notably unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  Algeria operates several advanced Chinese platforms, including Wing Loong II and CH-4 drones.  Earlier this year, several media outlets reported that Algeria had placed an order for six Chinese CH-5 combat drones.  According to the Algeria-focused, military affairs website Menadefense, in late 2021 Algeria placed an order for four Chinese WJ-700 “Falcon” UAVs.  The WJ-700 is arguably China’s most capable export platform: a high-altitude, high-speed drone similar in design and performance to the MQ-9 Reaper. 

Algeria has also invested in Chinese-manufactured counter-UAV systems.  Some of these were on display at the recent armed forces’ military parade in Algiers, held on 5 July to mark the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence from France.  The parade included a recently acquired, integrated Chinese electronic warfare (EW) system that social media observers specialized in Algerian military affairs called “a CEW-03A mobile EW system,” although it has also been referred to as a LDK-190 and CHL-906 system (see “Algeria Obtains Chinese Integrated EW Reconnaissance/Jamming System,” OE Watch, Issue 2, 2022).  The Independence Day parade also featured two self-propelled Chinese radar systems—the JY-11B array radar and a DWL-002 passive detection radar.  As noted in the accompanying excerpt from the Qatar-aligned daily al-Araby al-Jadeed, Algerian military leaders have repeatedly mentioned fighting “new generation wars” as a top priority, with EW highlighted as a principal area of focus. High-tech EW platforms were not the only type of Chinese weapons on display at Algeria’s Independence Day parade.  As noted by the military news website 21st Century Asian Arms Race, marching infantry soldiers were seen carrying old Type 56 Chinese assault rifles, which the Algerian military has been producing domestically for many years.  The juxtaposition of advanced UAVs and EW systems, on the one hand, and inexpensive, outdated assault rifles on the other, may hint at the Algerian military’s priorities.  The fact that they are all of Chinese origin serves as a reminder that the evolving Chinese-Algerian military relationship is rooted in historical ties that go back decades.  Chinese technology seems likely to play an increasingly important role in helping Algerian forces prepare for the type of wars its leaders foresee across the horizon.


“l’Algérie commande quatre drones HAL de combat à la Chine (Algeria orders four HAL combat drones from China),” MenaDefense (non-governmental website focusing on Algerian military affairs), 24 January 2022.

It turns out that Algeria is the mysterious customer who bought the Chinese high-altitude/high-speed WJ-700 combat drone.  The signing of the contract was announced on December 21, 2021.

Source: @nuwangzi, Twitter, 5 July 2022. #Algeria #EW First clear image of the CEW-03A in Algeria – A Chinese Mobile 6×6 truck EW system. 

Source: @kmldial70, Twitter, 4 July 2022. jy-11b radar, dwl 002 passive detection radar system, #Algerian #AirDefense #Algeria #AlgerianArmy #MilitaryParade.

Source: @kad_ghani, Twitter, 4 July 2022. Chinese CETC Self-Propelled JY-11B 3D Electronically Scanned Array Radar Hunter-1 makes his first appearance with the Algerian Army.


 ”حديث متوالٍ عن الحروب الجديدة لدى الجيش الجزائري

(Continuous talk about the Algerian army’s new wars),” al-Araby al-Jadeed (Qatari-aligned daily), 2 July 2022.

For some time now, the leaders of the Algerian army have been constantly talking about the need to prepare for new forms of war, especially regarding virtual and electronic warfare, and the benefits of cybersecurity.

Source: “Cheap Chinese Assault Rifles Are Made In Algeria,” 21st Century Asian Arms Race (military news website), 7 July 2022.

… during a recent military parade to mark 60 years since independence it became apparent its soldiers are issued with the most basic, even completely outdated, assault rifle supplied by China. It turns out a state-owned factory called the Mechanical Construction Establishment of Khenchela has been mass-producing Type 56 and Type 56-1 assault rifles since the 1990s.

Image Information:

Image:  Wing Loong II
Source: Photo by Mztourist,
Attribution: CC 4.0