Morocco National Defense budget to increase by 29%
Morocco is set to bolster its armed forces through the purchase of an array of military equipment from the US, Morgan Hekking reports on Morocco World News. The budget is set to increase by nearly 30% in 2020, from MAD 35.155 million to MAD 45.438 million.
M109A5 self-propelled howitzer of the 15th Royal Artillery Group (Picture source: Morocco MoD/Wikimedia)
Personnel costs will rise from MAD 22.330 million to MAD 33.167 million due to an increase in recruits and military conscripts in the Royal Armed Forces (FAR). In addition, FAR staff will benefit from higher wages. Equipment costs will rise from MAD 6.051 million to MAD 7.125 million. Investment spending will increase from MAD 4.773 million to MAD 5.146 million.
Per article 40 of the 2020 finance bill, the minister delegate in charge of the Defense Administration will commit MAD 110 billion to an endowment expenditure account entitled the “Acquisition and Repair of Royal Armed Forces Equipment.” This equipment includes 24 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, 12 light transport helicopters, 24 tactical lift helicopters, and an electronic warfare aircraft. As Morocco prioritizes anti-aircraft defense, the armed forces will purchase at least one surface-to-air missile system (the Raytheon Patriot PAC-3) and an M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer.
The increased defense budget will also serve to strengthen the Royal Navy’s patrol fleet with a new frigate. Morocco will also invest in a top-of-the-line coastal surveillance system as securing the coasts has become a key priority for the kingdom.