Algeria continues the construction of a new SA-20B Gargoyle (S-300PMU2 Favorit) air defence site at Mers El Kebir, in Oran Province near the coast. Recent satellite images show that the new site is still under construction two years after the beginning of the work.
The most recent development, according to images from the satellites of DigitalGlobe taken last May, is the completion of the protective shelters and the ramps leading to them, as well as the covering of the shelters with earth.
The new air defence site is located close to:
- the Bou Sfer airbase, which hosts 32 Mig-29S/UB multi-role fighters of the 193rd Escadron de Chasse of the Algerian Air Force,
- the naval base of Oran, at Mers El Kebir, the home-port of the Algerian Navy’s four Kilo class submarines (two Kilo class 636M and two Kilo class 877EKM),
- OMCN/CNE, the main shipyard of the country.
The new site protects the west region of Algeria’s air defence system and its configuration is similar to the other two air defence sites equipped with SA-20B Gargoyle missiles located at Ouled Fayet (southwest of Algiers) and Reghaia (east of Algiers).
The Russian made SA-20B Gargoyle (S-300PMU2 Favorit) air defence system consists of:
- the 83M6E2 battle management system, which is part of the 54K6E2 Command Post and the 64N6E2 Big Bird acquisition radar system,
- the 96L6E early warning and primary acquisition radar,
- the 30N6E2 Tomb Stone engagement radar,
- the 5P85SE2 or 5P85TE2 TELs (Transporter Erector Launcher), armed with 46N6E2 missiles (200km range).
Each fire unit of the SA-20B Gargoyle (S-300PMU2 Favorit) system is made up of one 30N6E2 Tomb Stone engagement radar and up to twelve 5P85SE2 or 5P85TE2 TELs each carrying four vertical launched 46N6E2 missiles (200km range).
Algeria ordered eight battalions of the SA-20B Gargoyle (S-300PMU2 Favorit) air defence system from Russia in 2006.