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.
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.