Algeria, a country that has long focused on national security and defense, has taken a major step towards self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing. The Algerian Army recently laid the groundwork for starting a military defense industry, with the aim of designing, building and manufacturing “complex weapons” systems. This endeavor was achieved through a presidential decree authorizing the establishment of the Technical Systems Development Corporation. This institution will be responsible for conducting studies, engineering design and manufacturing weapons and ammunition.
As part of this strategic move, Algeria has also partnered with China, allowing the country to manufacture Chinese heavy weapons under license. Notably, the CS/LM5 and CS/LM12-M1 multi-barreled revolving machine guns, along with the LG5/QLU-11 automatic grenade launcher, are among the advanced weapons to be manufactured. The weapons will be manufactured by the Algerian mechanical engineering company in Khenchela.
The CS/LM5 12.7mm barrel machine gun is produced by China North Industries Group. The product is composed of gun body, shooting control device, frame base, ammo box, ammo chain and other parts. It is mainly used to engage targets flying at low and very low altitudes and fast-moving lightly armored targets or to suppress ground or surface targets at a distance of 1,500 meters.
Semi-automatic QLU-11 or LG5 grenade launcher
The QLU-11 or LG5 is a semi-automatic grenade launcher developed by Norinco and introduced in 2011. The launcher name “QLU” stands for “Light Weapon (Qīng Wŭqì) – Hand Grenade (Liúdàn) – Sniper (Jūjī)” In coding the Chinese army. The LG5/QLU-11 can be equipped with a fire control system with a laser rangefinder, thermal imaging capability, and a ballistic computer that gives it air-blast capability. The QLU-11 has been tested in combat against Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden by the Chinese Marines. The LG5/QLU-11 is designed for long range use and is therefore described as a “sniper” grenade launcher. As befits this classification, it is said to have a very high accuracy of 3 R100 rounds with an accuracy of 1 meter at a range of 600 meters, which means that with proper aiming, the weapon can put three consecutive high-explosive rounds into a window or door. Its development was inspired by the American Barrett XM109 anti-materiel rifle, which fires 25x59mm grenades, and its design is based on the Chinese HSARI LR2 .50 caliber rifle.
The LG5 is an export version of the QLU-11 for the People’s Liberation Army, which was first introduced by Norinco in 2011. The primary difference between them is that the PLA version fires the Chinese Army’s standard 35×32mm grenade, while the model intended for overseas sales uses 40 rounds. x 53 mm.
Strengthening local defense capabilities
Algeria’s decision to begin manufacturing Chinese heavy weapons under license demonstrates the country’s commitment to strengthening its domestic defense capabilities. By establishing the Technical System Development Corporation, Algeria aims to reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers and become self-reliant in the production of advanced weapons. The move is consistent with the country’s broader goal of developing a strong military defense industry capable of meeting its defense requirements.
Strategic partnership with China
The partnership between Algeria and China in the field of defense manufacturing is a landmark for both countries. China, famous for its technological expertise in the defense sector, will provide Algeria with the necessary technology transfer agreements and licensing agreements for the manufacture of weapons such as the CS / LM5 and CS / LM12-M1 multi-barreled machine guns and the LG5 / QLU-11 automatic grenade launcher. This cooperation does not enhance bilateral relations between Algeria. And not only China, but also gives Algeria access to cutting-edge military technology and know-how.
By manufacturing Chinese heavy weapons under license, Algeria would gain several advantages. First of all, speeding up the production process, allowing Algeria to quickly obtain advanced weapons without going through long research and development stages. In addition, by obtaining the license, Algeria will gain the technical expertise and knowledge necessary to maintain and upgrade these weapons, ensuring their long-term sustainability.
By developing local manufacturing capabilities, Algeria can reduce its defense imports and redirect resources towards the growth of its defense industry. The move will create new job opportunities, enhance local manufacturing capacity, and promote technological innovation. Algeria’s fledgling defense industry previously received a boost when in November 2018 the government of Russia and Algeria hinted at the possibility of setting up a joint venture in Algeria to produce and extend the service life of guided and unguided munitions.