Military cooperation for an improvement of the "strike force"

Since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel in December 2020, military cooperation between the two parties has continued to develop and has enabled the Kingdom to take a leap forward in improving its “strike force”. “. This is the subject that the new report of the Middle East Institute (MEI) dissects.

In her recently published analysis, Intissar Fakir, Senior Researcher and Director of the North Africa and Sahel Program at MEI, explains that Morocco and Israel built their nascent alliance “on a common history and population flowsand then sheds light on the key points of military cooperation since the reestablishment of relations between the two countries. She recalls in this regard that although Morocco already has strong military partnerships with the United States and the EU, “Israel offers an added advantage to an army eager to improve its capabilities“.

The researcher says that “Morocco’s access to Israeli technology, and drones in particular, allows it to take a leap forward in improving its military power“, noting that”Morocco’s acquisition of drones from Israel includes five different types of units: Heron, Hermes 900, WanderB, ThunderB, and Harfang“.

Fakir details that, since this recovery, Morocco has bought “a batch of Harop drones for $22 million in 2021“, she explains that these are”known as Kamikaze drones, they can fly for up to seven hours while carrying 20 kilograms of explosives“.

According to the analyst, Morocco would also have acquired “the CAIG Wing Loong I and the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2” as well as “the MQ-A1 Predator and the MQ-9B SeaGuardian“. Last year, “FAR also acquired five Skylock Dome counter-drone systems from Israel, after the latter was first showcased at the 2020 Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition (IDEX)“, she says.

More recently, last February, Morocco finalized an agreement with IAI to acquire the Barak MX integrated defense system for an amount of 500 million dollars. This air weapon protection system is effective against missiles and drones“, adds the same source, explaining that this system includes”three different types of interceptors: Barak-MRAD, Barak-LRAD, and the BarakER“.

As for Morocco’s military expenditure throughout 2000-2021, the analysis was based on data from SIPRI, the independent international institute dedicated to research on conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. The data reveals that, from the year 2000 to last year, the Kingdom’s spending has increased by approximately $4.344 billion, from $1.043 billion in 2000 to $5.378 billion in 2021.

Fakir recalls in his analysis that the objectives of the Kingdom have evolved “to include the development of its own drone production technology. The military cooperation agreement with Israel included a plan for the construction of two drone factories in Morocco to produce Harop dronesand continues that the “development of air defense industries could build on the country’s existing aerospace industry“.

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