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Morocco plans to acquire maritime patrol aircraft

The Alawi country is looking for manufacturers that can provide its armament services
PHOTO/USAF

PHOTO/USAF  -   Image of cargo plane

Morocco is still in the process of acquiring more weapons equipment to increase the defence of the territory. Now, the Kingdom is in the process of selecting several manufacturers to build maritime patrol aircraft. Specifically, the nation plans to procure two MPA - Maritime Patrol Aircraft - which will go directly into service with the Royal Navy.  

The planes they plan to buy will be two, and these specialise primarily in anti-submarine warfare, maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as search and rescue at sea and possible electronic countermeasures to respond to the possibility of attack

Several manufacturers have already offered their services to sell these products, and Morocco has already received several options. According to the Spanish daily Defensa, the Kingdom is focusing on offers from Italian manufacturer Leonardo and Airbus. These two are respectively presenting their two models: the first, with the ATR 72MPA model and, on the other hand, the C295MPA. These two would be the main prototypes in which Morocco would be interested. 

On the other hand, the nation does not rule out other options and the digital newspaper also states that they are interested in acquiring the P-8 Poseidon, an American Boeing and the SC-130J Sea Hercules manufactured by Lockheed Martin. These two aircraft would be a good buy for the Kingdom, but are likely to be discarded due to their high asking price. In 2016, the same thing happened with the SC-130J Sea Hercules, and in the end the arms sector of the Maghreb country opted for the manufacturer Raytheon and its King Air 350ER model, which became available in 2019.  

PHOTO/Airbus DS – Centro de asistencia de vuelo
PHOTO/Airbus DS – Flight Assistance Centre

Morocco is still in a process of evaluation, in which, in the coming months, it will be able to decide which aircraft it wants to buy. This will involve measuring the budgets offered by each company, in addition to an evaluation of each of the advantages and benefits offered by each archetype

The Alawi country is in the process of expanding its arsenal, in which it is investing generously to strengthen all its defence systems. With this new purchase, in addition to the defence sector, it will also expand its policy of expanding its maritime economic space, which will allow it to jointly exploit the oil and mineral resources of the Atlantic Ocean. 

In recent months, the UK has been expanding its arms stockpile. The latest announcement was the purchase of French MDBA MICA missiles - intercept, combat and self-defence missiles - which would strengthen military air defence. These missiles would protect the territory's vital and sensitive installations in the event of an external threat.  

PHOTO/Airbus DS – Centro de asistencia de vuelo

Moreover, Morocco and Israel are forging strong defence links. Since the resumption of relations between the two countries, Morocco has strengthened much of its military system through agreements with the Jewish nation. These include the manufacture of kamikaze drones capable of exploding on contact with any target. The construction of short- and medium-range missile systems is also under development.  

The Israeli government has also offered the Kingdom the military defence system known as Iron Dome, which will allow Morocco to control and defend its borders thanks to this device, which has remote control radars that can intercept and destroy rockets from any distance. Agreements have also been made with the United Arab Emirates, where 68 Mirage 2000-9 fighters have been purchased jointly for them and for Egypt. 

Another plan underway is the construction of new military bases. These will be concentrated at specific points in the territory, in case of a possible threat. One of the bases that is known to be planned would be located near the city of Melilla and would join the first anti-aircraft defence base installed 60 kilometres from the country's capital. It is worth noting that following the arrival of the new government and the halt in the pandemic, compulsory military service, which had been fully abolished since 2006, has been reinstated.