Minor cold war & Modern Navies

☫ 41 countries around the world: Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America

What is the definition of a “minor navy” ?
Surely there is a “top tier”, which is most often assimilated to a “blue water navy”. And it is most often assorted with a true aircraft carrier (not an assault ship), which gave us a limited club (USN, and Russian Navy, British, French, Italian and Spanish Navies, and in Asia the PLAN, JSDMF, Indian and Thai Navies). Then came “regional navies” sometimes flagged as “green water” navies, which in high tier have guided missile destroyers and assault ships (like Turkey) while the Bundesmarine have not, and they could still make a projection of power due to large ships with logistic for oceanic operations such as anti-piracy missions in the red sea. And these is the lower tier, which could defend its EEZ and do limited projection of powers nearby but not much esle, which is the object of the present chapter.

And there is at the bottom what most calls a “brown water” navy. The name suggest essentially a riverine fleet. It’s especially true of the country had still a limited coastal area but restricted budget and/or is landlocked and only has a complement to just a “police force” for its riverine traffic. This is true also for large lakes, like the Tanganyka in Africa. Still between the low tier regional naval power to the small riverine force, enters most nations on the planet. They are classed by alphabetical order. It must be said that 44 countries in the world (on 195 recoignised ones worldwide) are truly landlocked. Let’s cite Afghanistan, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Czechia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, in Europe alone, but also Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Paraguay, Rwanda, Slovakia, South Ossetia, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Transnistria, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In population, 475,818,737 so 6% roughly of the world’s population, showing superbly that the bulk of humanity lives close to the sea. Many of these only have a token riverine police force or nothing at all, even with a small river going through, nike Nepal. These are absent of the list but could be added next year.

Algerian NavyAzerbaijani NavyBangladesh NavyBarheini NavyBolivian NavyCambodian NavyComoros NavyCosta Rica NavyCroatian NavyCuban NavyDjibouti NavyDominican Republic NavyEquadorian NavyEstonian NavyEthiopian NavyFinnish NavyGeorgian NavyHaitian NavyHonduras NavyIcelandic NavyIraqi NavyJordanian NavyKuwaiti NavyLatvian NavyLebanese NavyLiberian NavyLibyan NavyLithuanian NavyMauritanian NavyMexican NavyMorrocan NavyNicaraguan NavyNorwegian NavyOmani NavyPakistani NavyParaguaian NavyQatari NavySan Salvador NavySaudi NavySerbian NavySingaporean NavySlovenian NavySomalian NavySudanese NavySyrian NavyThai NavyTunisian NavyUAE NavyUruguayan NavyVenezuelan NavyVietnamese NavyYemeni NavyZanzibar Navy

About this page:
I will complete these fleets according to a monthly schedule, one after the other in the following years, and add more along the way. The ones not present are of course to be looked for in the main menu.

Algerian Navy Algerian Navy

The Algerian Naval Force (القوات البحرية الجزائرية) is the naval branch of the Algerian military, founded after the Independence in 1963, but existing in various guises from 1516 to 1827. This navy operated from bases along the country’s 1,440 km (890 mi) coastline. Primary mission is to defend Algeria’s territorial waters and EEZ, fishery areas and strategic geological assets (potential oil extraction) against foreign intrusions. There is no dedicated coast guard and all maritime safety missions are tasked by the Navy, with a wide range of ships between a 9000 tonnes LHD down to small patrol boats. Projection of forces comprises an amphibious component (three main vessels) plus a corps of “fusiliers marins” (Marines), an air components (16 helicopters), 20 to 25 Frigates and corvettes, a conventional deterrence with six submarines, making the Algerian a top-tier player in the Western Mediterranean, and “blue-green” water navy.

Due to weapons procurement during the war of independence just as other Algerian military branches, Soviet assistance shaped its navyfor ships types and structure during the Cold War, but more recently, Algeria started to seek for other sources for equipment, including major ships: Germany, China, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Japan, Poland and Norway…
Algeria also invested its own shipbuilding capacity. Based on this, Algerian built its first domestic ships, the Djebel Chenoua class corvettes in 2002, but during the cold war procurement was almost exclusively Soviet. This article thus will be split in two, the cold war and modern navies, plus plans.

The Algerian Navy in the cold war

The Algerian armed forces (including a fourth service, the National Gendarmerie) are formidable and well-equipped, much military effort having been devoted to the 150,000-man army, the fourth strongest in Africa, with a reputation and traditions based on winning the prolonged guerrilla war leading to independence in 1962. Algeria’s merchant marine, boosted like much else by the country’s recent oil wealth, expanded from seventy-five ships (239,81 5grt) in 1974 to 130 vessels (1,218,621 grt) in 1980.

The navy, which began with a pair of Egyptian (ex-US) coastal minesweepers, has been gradually expanded and modernised in the past 25 years, personnel being increased from 3000 to 6000, with about 9000 reservists, and it is now probably stronger and certainly more efficient than the Libyan Navy. Previously a force of large patrol and fast attack craft, it was reinforced 1n 1980 by the first of two Soviet missile corvettes and a ‘Koni’ class frigate, giving some cruising capability. From January 1982 a Soviet ‘Romeo’ class submarine gave training to Algerian crews at Mers-el-Kebir, and in 1987-88 two ‘Kilo’ class submarines were acquired from the Soviet Union to replace the two ‘Romeos’ acquired earlier.

Despite receiving further Soviet equipment, and regular visits from the Soviet fleet, Algeria did not provide the USSR with base facilities. Since the early 1980s, Algeria has started to build its own small surface vessels, but lacks the funds to buy the larger replacement vessels it urgently requires. ‘The main bases along the 800-mile coast are Mers-el-Kebir, Algiers, Arzew, Philippeville, La Senia and Annaba (Bone).

3 Koni class frigates (1980): Built at Zelenodosk SY, launched 1979, pennants 901-903, Murat Reis, Rais Kellicen, Rais Korfu. Still in service today.
2 Romeo class submarines (delivered 1982-83). From 1995, battery-charging boats and pierside training hulks.
2 Kilo class submarines Delivered 1987-88. The sail has a mount for Strela SAM MANPAD aft (30 in reserve). Extant.
3 Nanuchka II class corvettes: Built at Petrovksky, Leningrad, launched 1979, delivered 1980-81 as Rais Hamidou, Salah Reis and Rais Ali, pennants 801-803. Extant
c14 Kebir class OPVs (see below)
12 OSA I/II class FACs: Transfers: 3 1967, 9 1976-81 numb.644-651, one damaged, one destroyed explosion 1981. Stricken 2000s.
6 Komar class FACs: Transferred 1966 as 671-676, stricken 1995.
12 P6 class FAC(Torpedo): Transferred 1963-68, discarded 1975 to 1984, 2 Coast Guard, 2 training.
6 SO-I class OPVs: Transferred 1965-67 P651-656, three had 2x TTs from P6s. Discarded 1985-88
6 Hainan class OPVs: Transferred 1990 and used by the coast guards.
2 BYMS type Minesweepers: Djebel Aures, Sidi Fradj, from Egypt 1962, Aures wrecked off Algiers 1963, Fradje discarded 1971.
2 T43 class minesweepers: Transferred 1968, discarded 1984-85
1 Polocny class transferred 1976, N°555
1 Poluchat class Torpedo recovery vessel
1 Zhuk class 1981 CPC.
16 CPS 1976 Italian built for the Coast Guard. Discarded;

The Algerian Navy today and plans

Current list in 2023:

Kalaat Beni Hammed in 1984

-2 Kilo, 4 Kilo-M class subs
-Kalaat Béni Abbès (San Giorgio class LSD ordered 2011, com. 2015)
-2 Kalaat Beni Hammed class landing ship, UK built, com. 1984
-2 Erradii class, German MEKO 2000 Frigates com. 2016: Erradii, El Moudamir
-3 Adhafer class frigates, Chinese 2880t stealth corvettes, com. 2015: Adhafer, El Fatih, Ezzadjer
-3 Koni class (see above) modernized in 2011: Mourad Rais, Rais Kellik, Rais Korfou
-3 Nanuchka II class corvettes, modernized 2012: Ras Hamidou, Salah Reis, Reis Ali
-4 Djebel Chenoua class corvettes (algerian built, com. 2002, see below ): Djebel Chenoua, El Chihab, El Kirch, Hassan Barbiear
-1(6) El Moutassadi class corvettes (Chinese 1500t Type 056 class): Sources differs 1 or 6 delivered, no names but lead ship.
-3 Steregushchiy class corvettes on order (to be delivered 2022).
-3 El-Kasseh class mine countermeasure ships (Italian Lerici class, com. 2016)
-8 Osa II-class missile boats (possibly in reserve today, still listed)
-14 Kebir-class OPVs (UK built, com. 1982, by Booke Marine)
-41 Denebi class OPVs (Fr Ocea-class patrol boats, com. 2008-2021)
-12 El Mounkid class CPVs (Algerian built wt Spanish & assistance design, com. 2016)
-El Idrissi survey ship 540t 1980 (Japan built Matsukara Zosen)
-El Masseh survey ship (Fr Ocea Yd OSV-95 type) com. 2021
-Soummam TS (Chinese built 5,500 tonnes com 2006)
-EL Mellah Polish built sailing vessel Gdansk 2006.
-El Mourafik 600t salvage vessel Chinese built 1990
-El Mounjid class High Seas tugs (Norway built 3,200 tonnes Type UT 515 CD 2012)

Naval Air Force:
-10 Westland Super Lynx, ship and land borne, ASW helicopters
-5 Agusta-Westland AW101 for SAR helicopters
-3 Agusta-Westland AW139 utility helicopters

Future plans:
-Acquisition of TYPE 054A 2+ frigates 2020s
-Acquisition of 4-6 AIP Submarines in replacement to the Kilos, late 2020s.
-3 Three corvettes C28A +3 more locally. Thales electronics mounted in Algeria, Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard

Algerian Navy Kalaat Béni Abbès (2014)

Modified San Giorgio class: Ordered 2011 +one option. Delivered 2015. 9,000 tonnes, Improved San Giorgio Landing and Logistic Support Ship. The BDSL can accommodate 3 landing craft mechanized, 3 small landing craft vehicle personnel, 1 large landing craft personnel, 2 semi-rigid boats 15 armoured vehicles in hangar, helideck, 6 spots, crew 150, 400 troops. Armament: Aster 15 missiles, 1x OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapido, bow; 2x 25 mm RWS.

Algerian Navy Erradi class Frigates (2015)

Two MEKO A-200AN frigates: Erradii (910) and El Moudamir (911) ordered from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, then ADM Kiel shipyard in 2013 plus option for two more in 2014 and is fitted with the following:
-Oto Melara 127/64 LW 127 mm main gun
-MSI-Defence 30 mm cannons
-Denel Dynamics Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missiles
-Saab/Diehl Defence RBS-15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles
-Rheinmetall Defence MASS softkill decoy launchers
-Saab Sea Giraffe AMB 3-D surveillance radar
-Saab CEROS 200 radar/electro-optical fire control directors
-Thales UMS4132 Kingklip sonar
CODOG with GE turbine or CODAG-WARP (WAter jet and Refined Propellers) propulsion like the 200SAN

Algerian Navy Djebel Chenoua-class corvettes

Djebel Chenoua, El Chihab, El Kirch, Hassan Barbiear

First large Algerian built vessels. Next ones are the Alusafe 2000 speedboats and potentially in the future, chinese design corvettes C28A.
The Djebel Chenoua-class corvettes are of domestic design and assembly, developed in ERCN Mers el-Kebir shipyard near Oran, built in the 1980s. They were specialized in ASW and SAR operations, lightly armed until equipped with four C-802 missiles made in China, derived from the French Exocet (120 km range, auto guidance). It is completed by a Russian AK-176 76 mm main gun and Gatling-type AK-630 30 mm for air defense aft.
Specs: 550 tons FL, 58.4 x 8.5 x 2.59m (191.6 x 27.9 x 8.5 ft), 3× MTU 20V-538-TB92 diesels, 31 knots RA 1.000 Nmi (1.852 km) Crew 52, carried 2 Rigid-hulled inflatable boat
Attack radar Type 363A/S, Acquisition radar Type 374G, Optronic director Type 88C, 2 × Decoy launchers.
El Kirch in 2006
El Kirch in 2006


J. Gardiner, Conway’s all the world’s fighting ships 1947-95
mdn.dz/ official site

Azerbaijani Navy

The Azerbaijani Naval Forces wer created back in August 5, 1919, as the government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established a naval force, based on remnants of the Russian Imperial fleet of the Caspian Sea. To remind, Azerbaijan was at first part of Caucasian Albania and Persian empires while in the 19th century as part of Qajar Iran, the country was claimed by Russia after the Russo-Persian wars of 1804–1813 and 1826–1828. The treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmenchay in 1828 precised borders with what was called Qajar Iran and fell under the Caucasus Viceroyalty.
By the late 19th century a raise of nationalism saw the grow of Azerbaijani national identity. Revolts ended with the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed as an independent state from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic in 1918, helped by the revolution and collapse of the Russian Empire.

Erdogan, 1919 former Russian vessel.

This small navy had only 6 ships. However soon Soviet rule was established in Azerbaijan, and the navy was transferred under the Soviet Navy supervision. The country lived on as a republic of the USSR but no longer control of its defence, until 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

During the cold war, AZERBAIJAN A naval force was set up in July 1991, based at Baku on the Caspian Sea. It had been decided that half of the former Soviet Caspian Sea flotilla would be divided between Russia and Azerbaijan, with the other half to be shared later between Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Other units came from the KGB Border Guards. The following vessels were reported extant in 1995:
-One ‘Petya II’ class frigate, 404 (ex-SKR-16), transferred 1992.
-One ‘Polnocny B’ class medium landing ship, transferred August 1992.
-Three ‘Polnocny A’ class medium landing ships, transferred August 1992 from the Caspian flotilla. Believed to be in poor condition.
-One ‘T 4’ class landing craft transferred July 1992.
-Two “Osa II’ class fast attack craft (missile), transferred August 1992, one believed to have been a training vessel prior to transfer.
-One “Zhuk’ class coastal patrol craft.
-Two ‘Stenka’ class fast attack craft (torpedo). Transferred July 1992 from KGB Border Guards. Likely that sonar and ASW TT removed.
-Three ‘Sonya’ class coastal minesweepers transferred August 1992.
-Two ‘Yevgenya’ inshore minesweepers transferred 1992.

The Azerbaijani fleet of the Soviet Navy was divided between Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. By July 1992, Azerbaijani ships saw ceremonies with the raising of the Azerbaijani Flag in the Caspian Sea. The 1996 Presidential Decree by Heydar Aliyev marked August 5 as national “navy day”. Reinforced thanks to a rsisng budget favoured by the country’s rveneus from petroleum, this fleet is now second strongest navy in the Caspian Sea, after the Russian fleet flotilla.
Jane’s Fighting Ships precised a Coast Guard was formed in July 2002, requisitioning vessels from the Caspian Flotilla and Border Guard. In 1995 Russian overall control was re-established for “maintenance and support” although independence is still nominal. The Navy today is commanded by Captain Rafig Asgarov.

Naval Bases and installations:

-Baku (Puta) Naval Base: Shipyard close to Puta, Qaradagh. Puta is the largest military facility in the Caspian Sea, built from October 2010. Main support, HQ, academic center are all located at the same place, with arsenal, drydocks and repair Plant of the Navy. The old Soviet Naval base in Baku, dilapidated after the fall of USSR, had been converted into a arts centre.
Zığ base: Azeri Marines infantry HQ.


  • Main Headquarters:
  • Surface Ship Brigade
    Water Area Protection Division
    Division of Landing Ships
    Division of Minesweepers
    Division of Search and Rescue Vessels
    Training Courts Division

  • Brigade of Patrol Ships
  • Marine Infantry
  • 641st Naval Special Operations Brigade
    Sea Sabotage and Reconnaissance Brigade

  • Reserve
  • Azerbaijan Coast Guard
    Patrol Ship Brigade

  • Mobilization reserve:
  • Azerbaijan Merchant Fleet

  • Educational establishments
  • Faculty of the Navy, Azerbaijan Higher Military Academy (the former Azerbaijan Higher Naval Academy) – training of officers of the fleet and naval units of the border troops
    Training Center of the Azerbaijani Navy – training of warrant officers and foremen of the contract service.

Strenght Today:

4 submarines, 1 frigate, 13+ patrol vessels, 6 landing craft, 7 mine warfare ships:
-Soviet Triton-2m and Triton-1 (Project 907) submarines: 4 in service
-Soviet Petya-class frigate, ARG Gusar(G121) modernised by USA and Turkey.

Azeri Navy ARG Gusar(G121)

Ex-Grisha class boat. Replacing a former ‘Petya II’ class frigate, 404 (ex-SKR-16), transferred 1992.

Azeri Navy Azeri OPVs

-5 Stenka-class patrol boat
-3 Osa-class fast attack craft (missile)
-2 Svetlyak-class patrol boat
-2 AB-25 class patrol craft: AB-34 (P-134) and AB-35 (P-135) transferred in 2000
-1 Point-class cutter, (S-201 – ex-USCGS Point Brower) from US
In addition, negociations are ongoing to acquire the Kılıç-class fast attack craft with Turkey.

OPVs in the military parade off Baku

US Point-class Cutter S-201

Azeri Navy Azeri landing ships

6 Polnocny-class landing ship: 2 Polnocny-A and 4 Polnocny-B

Azeri Navy Azeri Minesweepers

2 Sonya-class minesweeper
5 Yevgenya-class minesweeper
Note: more infos on these when creating the portal page on Soviet cold war minesweepers.

Azeri Navy Azeri Naval Aviation

-3 CASA/IPTN CN-235 HC-144A Maritime patrol planes, twin-turboprop
-2 Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, SAR and maritime patrol
-1 Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma transport heli

Cooperation programs:

In 2006, the U.S. Government donated three motorboats to the Azerbaijani Navy, together with an agreement to refurbish Azerbaijani warships; By May 19, 2006, Azerbaijani and Turkish Navy held a joint military exercise for the security of oil and gas pipelines, in Baku to ensure the safety of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to provide Caspian oil to Turkey an to terminals for export. The exercises consisted in the clearance of mines on the seabed and counter-terrorism, maritime and air operations.
In 2007, a new agreement was signed between the Azerbaijani Navy and U.S. company to provide advanced laser marksmanship systems and training.
Lastly, the Caspian Guard Initiative was signed as a framework program to coordinate activities in Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan with the U.S. Central Command and other agencies for Caspian security. This also includes counter-terrorism, work to prevent nuclear proliferation, drug and human trafficking, under the EUCOM command.



Bangladesh Navy

Barheini Navy

Bolivian Navy

Cambodian Navy

Comoros Navy

Costa Rica Navy

Croatian Navy

Cuban Navy

Djibouti Navy

Dominican Republic Navy

Equadorian Navy

Estonian Navy

Ethiopian Navy

Finnish Navy

Georgian Navy

Haitian Navy

Honduras Navy

Icelandic Navy

Iraqi Navy

Jordanian Navy

Kuwaiti Navy

Latvian Navy

Lebanese Navy

Liberian Navy

Libyan Navy

Lithuanian Navy

Mauritanian Navy

Mexican Navy

Morrocan Navy

Nicaraguan Navy

Norwegian Navy

Omani Navy

Pakistani Navy

Paraguaian Navy

Qatari Navy

San Salvador Navy

Saudi Navy

Serbian Navy

Singaporean Navy

Slovenian Navy

Somalian Navy

Sudanese Navy

Syrian Navy

Thai Navy

Tunisian Navy

UAE Navy

Uruguayan Navy

Venezuelan Navy

Vietnamese Navy

Yemeni Navy

Zanzibar Navy