Armament: Morocco is shopping for missiles in China

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Morocco is in talks with Chinese defence contractor CASIC to buy advanced weapons.

In fact, the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) are interested in Chinese-made precision-guided missiles and bombs (long-range weapons) as well as the Pterosaur 1 and Pterosaur 2 drones known as “Wanderer” winged machines as suicide UAVs.

Tactical reports from which this information originated indicate that Morocco is a frequent visitor to Chinese defence equipment. In fact, last year the Kingdom opened its first military base dedicated to long-range air defence and purchased many Chinese long-range air defence systems (FD-2000B), causing major damage.

However, the Asian giant is not the only power with which Morocco has signed military and defence agreements. Rabat has indeed acquired modern systems from countries such as the United States, France, Turkey and Israel.

In 2021, it acquired the Sky lock Dome System, surveillance and control equipment. Morocco and Israel have also made progress in cooperation on military intelligence. But 2021 was a pivotal year for the RBF procurement list, which included 1,000 launchers and anti-tank missiles, T-72M tanks and ammunition for its brand-new Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones, according to the UN Register of Conventional Weapons.

These acquisitions are part of Rabat’s efforts to modernize its army, land, sea and air. This fits into the geostrategic and political context in this part of the world with the sole concern of defending the territorial integrity of the country and strengthening its resilience to the transnational threats that are numerous in the region.

Morocco, which figures as the safest African country, the sixth MENA and among the 30 nations of the world as such, increased its military spending from 3.3% of PIB in the decade 2002-2011 to 3.4% of PIB for the next. They were carried out intelligently because, according to the international ranking in terms of Morocco’s military power, the “Global Firepower” Institute ranks it 56th in the world out of 142 countries. At the end of 2021, Morocco was on the list of the 40 largest military equipment importers in the world, according to a ranking by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

However, The United States comes in this case in the first position as the main supplier of arms of the Kingdom, 90% of the armament of the FAR weapons comes from Uncle Sam. France is in second place with 9.2% of total arms exported to Rabat, while the United Kingdom imports 0.3%, leaving crumbs to Spain, Germany, Turkey or Belgium who only supply it with ammunition or small arms.

Nour el Houda Bouzammour

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