These drones enjoyed by the Kingdom and which make the difference in conflicts

Drones are undoubtedly the most popular weapons in these modern times and all countries in the world are snapping them up. Effective, cheap and easy to transport and use thanks to the flexibility of their systems. Whether big like the Predator or small like the kamikaze Switchblade, drones are among the star weapons of the conflicts of the 21th century.

It’s not recent. These newcomers in the conflict landscape and the battlefields, the United States had been using them since September 2001 for surveillance (Taliban, Al-Qaeda), a few months later, after the attacks, they used them as weapons and today they have become indispensable in any conflict.

And the anecdote of collateral damage rehashed by the envious at the start of their use is now a thing of the past as the precision of these systems has evolved exponentially. The elimination of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri, who died last August following the impact of two Hellfire missiles launched from a drone against his house in Kabul, is indeed the illustration of the perfect surgical strike .

The effectiveness of the Switchblades (kamikaze drones) of the American company AeroVironment have made the reputation of “wandering ammunition”. Easily transportable thanks to their small size by soldiers, they do IRS (Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance) work, and they are also used to attack targets beyond the line of sight (Bvlos). They proved to be very effective, especially in destroying vehicles, mainly battle tanks and armored vehicles.

Alongside these, the Shahed 126 that Iran sold to Russia by undertaking to produce them on Russian soil, the Bayraktar TB2 (Turkey), are the most popular combat drones currently thanks to these high-precision laser-guided bombs. Having proven itself when Azerbaijan used it in its war against Armenia, it became number one. It is used by the armies of Ukraine / Russia in their conflict, by Turkey to fight the positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) use it to defend the Sahara against the polisario.

More than a year ago, Morocco acquired a total of 13 Bayraktar units for 59 million euros. The acquisition included four ground flight stations, a configurable simulation system for drone navigation, and a digital information storage and tracking system. These drones play a decisive role in the defensive and surveillance line of the two countries

But Morocco has used various drones to protect its territory from incursions by terrorists and separatist mercenaries. In October 2021, the Polisario Front announced the death of the head of its gendarmerie in Tifariti, hit by a missile launched by the FAR. This came from a system made in Israel, a powerful global giant that exports armed drones.

In this regard, the Kingdom has several Harop kamikaze drones, acquired in 2021 from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) following a visit to Rabat by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Morocco has also purchased 150 ThunderB and WanderB drones from Israel’s BlueBird for ISR missions.

And the list is long, we will in no way ignore the General Atomics MQ-9B SeaGuardian. The sale of four drones of this model was included in the arms purchase agreement concluded by Rabat and Washington in early 2021 for a value of 1,000 million dollars. Morocco has also announced an alliance with Israeli industry to build two drone factories on its territory.

Faced with this panoply of drones, the capos of Algiers have equipped the People’s National Army (ANP) with an integrated electronic system (Russian and Chinese) to detect enemy drones as well as a dozen combat drones CH- 5 Rainbow from CASC (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation). Algeria has also acquired the WingLoong 2, and more recently signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the acquisition of six Aksungur drones.

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