Algiers has bought 28 Su-30MKA aircraft from Russia, and has options for additional 28. Lead-in training will be provided by 16 Yak 130 to be delivered from Russia. These Sukhoi fighters will operate in three squadrons positioned in Ain Baida airbase, in North-Eastern Algeria. Algeria is also reportedly was the lead export customer for the 34 Su-35 fighters to be delivered upon completion of the new fighter’s development.
The Algerian Air Force prepared a new air base for the fighters. Officially opened in 2004 Ein Beida was prepared to receive the first two fighters in 2007 and is now operating 28 of the fighters. Satellite imagery obtained in 2006 shows the empty air bases with basic infrastructure completed (two perpendicular runways each over 3.6 km long, wide taxiways running parallel to the main runways), and work in progress at the bases’ operating facilities.
Photos recently obtained by Israel’s Eros B satellite, (taken July 12) show at least 11 Su-30MKA fighters lined up on the flight lines, with several Hardened Aircraft Shelters (HAS) completed at the two edges of the main runway, with more HAS under construction.