Morocco announces the acquisition of French missiles

The purchase will reinforce SKY DRAGON, missiles of Chinese origin, with the aim of strengthening its air defences to face any threat

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Moroccan Army

Morocco has announced the purchase of new French-made missiles. The Royal Armed Forces are waiting to receive the European MDBA MICA (intercept, combat and self-defence missile) system that will reinforce the Kingdom's military defence and are dedicated to protecting the country's vital and sensitive installations, in case someone threatens the territorial integrity of the region.  

The company in charge of building these weapons is MATRA, which carried out the first projects by launching the missiles from Rafale and Mirage 2000 aircraft. This new system is intended to be used both in the air for launching individual missiles, and on land and at sea. Its purchase means a reinforcement of national defence, as the Alawi country already has Chinese-made SKY DRAGON missiles, which are used by Group 20 of the Royal Artillery, one of the most important in the Moroccan army.  

For some time now, the Kingdom has been reinforcing its entire military system by purchasing weapons equipment and by joining forces and cooperating with countries that have a strong stockpile of war supplies. One of these is Israel, with which several agreements have already been signed for the procurement of materiel. One of these is the joint production of kamikaze drones, which carry explosives that explode when they hit targeted objects. They have also agreed to build short- and medium-range missile systems that will arm Morocco with new military technologies. 

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   El general de división marroquí Belkhir el-Farouk saluda a los oficiales a su llegada para asistir al ejercicio militar "León Africano" en el aeropuerto militar de Grier Labouihi, en el sureste de Marruecos
AFP/FADEL SENNA - Moroccan Major General Belkhir el-Farouk greets officers on their arrival to attend the "African Lion" military exercise at the Grier Labouihi military airport in southeastern Morocco.

On the other hand, the Maghreb country is close to receiving from the Israeli government the military defence system known as 'Iron Dome'. This allows Morocco to control and defend its national borders thanks to the sophisticated system of remote control radars that it incorporates. In turn, this weapon will be able to intercept and destroy short-range rockets, as well as attack projectiles launched from long distances that intend to bomb anywhere in the territory. The stakes in this sector do not end here, and the nation is already considering building new military bases at key points, such as the one it intends to build near the city of Melilla. Morocco also recently established its first long-range air defence base some 60 kilometres from Rabat, which can intercept targets up to 300 kilometres away at an altitude of 30 kilometres and has a radar range of 280 kilometres. 

Another key ally is the United Arab Emirates, which is expected to send 68 fighter jets to both Rabat and Cairo to strengthen military cooperation. These fighter jets are Mirage 2000-9 fighters, which reinforce Morocco's weapons arsenal. It is a model with a highly advanced military technology system. Turkey is also on the list of countries from which Morocco buys munitions, and in April a contract was signed to purchase 13 unmanned aerial combat vehicles known as Bayraktar TB2. 

The US is also one of the Kingdom's trading partners after the former recognised Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara. Since that event, there have been agreements in all sectors, as well as the establishment of US companies in the region to carry out various business plans. In addition, the Kingdom was considering buying the US Patriot and has shown great interest in acquiring it. 

PHOTO/AFP  -   El Secretario de Defensa de EE.UU. Mark Esper (L) firmó un acuerdo de cooperación militar con el Ministro Delegado de Defensa Nacional de Marruecos Abdellatif Loudiyi (R) el 2 de octubre de 2020, en la capital Rabat.
PHOTO/AFP - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (L) signed a military cooperation agreement with Morocco's Minister Delegate of National Defense Abdellatif Loudiyi (R) on October 2, 2020, in the capital Rabat.

With the arrival of the new government, and after the hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, military service has also been reinstated. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Interior, the recruitment period began in mid-December and will end in February 2029 . All young people between the ages of 19 and 25, and who meet the necessary requirements, will be required to perform military service. This milestone marks an important moment in the country's history, as it was fully abolished in 2006 and has now been brought back.  

Morocco is currently reinforcing its military arsenal, and according to the Kingdom's military circles, these purchases and constructions are only aimed at increasing the defence of the territory.