Algeria has received into service several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) originally developed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as seen in footage aired on national TV and posted to the official Facebook page of the Algerian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The footage posted on 20 December confirms the long-expected delivery of the Adcom Systems medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs to the North African country, with at least two armed Yabhon United 40 (named locally as ‘Algeria 54’) platforms and two smaller unarmed Yabhon Flash-20 (‘Algeria 55’) platforms shown on the flightline at Polygone Central de l’Air à Hassi Bahbah ahead of a military demonstration.
Jane’s was the first to report Algerian interest in the Block 5 version of the Yabhon United 40 armed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) MALE UAV at the Dubai Airshow in 2013. At that time, the CEO and general designer for Adcom, Ali Al Dhaheri, said that the country was looking for an unmanned platform to track militants and traffickers in its vast southern desert regions. The Yabhon Flash-20 was first showcased at the same event two years later.
While the Yabhon United 40 Block 5 and Yabhon Flash-20 are two of a number of UAVs developed in the UAE by Adcom Systems, the company’s website and social media accounts appear to have become inactive from 2016 and the manufacturer did not appear at the most recent Dubai Air Show in 2017. This lack of activity chimes with a statement issued by the Algerian MoD in which it notes that the Algeria 54 and Algeria 55 UAVs have been domestically manufactured, suggesting that it has bought the rights from Adcom. “It should be noted that these drones were built locally by engineers, technicians, and executives of the National People’s Army,” the MoD said.
First revealed in scale-model form in 2007, the Yabhon United 40 Block 5 UAV features Adcom’s distinctive double fore and aft main-wing configuration.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes