Morocco to buy missile air defense systems from MBDA France

France is Morocco’s second-largest arms supplier, providing 44% of the total weaponry, while the US accounts for 53%, Hamza Guessous reminds on Morocco News. Next order(s) will benefit to MBDA France.
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On November 6, 2019, MBDA demonstrated the increased capabilities of its Mistral 3 missile by successfully intercepting a moving target at a range of over 7 km. Picture here, the firing of a Mistral 3 missile from an ATLAS-RC launcher. This picture doesn't mean this is one of the missile types Morocco will purchase from MBDA (Picture source: MBDA)

Morocco’s head of government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, approved decree No. 346.20.0, issued on May 11, for the procurement of a set of weapons from French company MBDA. The approval came after the government secured a €192.1 million loan agreement with BNP PARIBAS on April 28. Morocco’s Directorate of National Defense and MBDA France concluded the armament contract, says a statement in Morocco’s May 18 Official Bulletin. The future acquisition will be part of Morocco’s five-year plan established in 2017 to reach “regional supremacy” by modernizing the military equipment of its army, air force, and navy.

From 2008 to 2018, France sold €1.8 billion worth of military equipment to Morocco, including a FREMM frigate in 2008 (Naval Group) and two spy satellites in 2013 (Airbus and Thales). In February 2019, Morocco concluded a set of military agreements with French arms manufacturers for a total value of €400 million. Although France and Morocco share long-standing relations, the US is the country’s primary arms supplier. France provides 44% of Morocco’s weapons while the US accounts for 53% of Morocco’s arms provision. Italy provides 1.4%.

So far, Morocco has devoted $20 billion to its strategic objective. Morocco’s arms acquisition deals with the US alone totaled $10.3 billion in 2019. The North African country is currently the second biggest arms exporter and the seventh-greatest military power in Africa, according to Global Firepower’s 2019 military strength ranking.

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