Morocco Acquires “Patriot” Missiles from USA
Morocco is seriously seeking to start negotiations over purchasing the "Patriot" anti-missile system with the United States of America
After the failure to obtain the Russian “S-400” defense system due to political and geo-strategic complications, Morocco is seriously seeking to start negotiations over purchasing the “Patriot” anti-missile system with the United States of America, according to the US Agency for International Trade.
The Royal Armed Forces were close to the procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense system, which is among the most powerful systems in the world, due to its ability to intercept air targets at a distance of 380 km and ballistic targets at 60 km. Yet, some complications related to the regional situation and the nature of Morocco’s alliances prevented the deal from happening.
The US “Patriot” air defense system, which the Moroccan army seeks to acquire, is considered the best system to counter the attacking missiles. Therefore, several countries rely on it mainly to protect its airspace and strategic and vital locations during wars.
Morocco is returning strongly to US weapons market in order to avoid sanctions that USA imposes against countries that enter into arm deals with Russia, as the Kingdom of Morocco is conducting intensive negotiations with the United States to reach an agreement on the purchase of MIM-104 patriot air defense system.
“Patriot” is a medium-range surface-to-air missile defense system, designed to counter all air threats, be it fighting jets or drones, ballistic missiles or even cruise missiles. It is worth noting that the purchase deal of this system would be the first of its kind for the Moroccan army, which does not have any type of anti-missile defense systems yet.
The US Department of International Trade Administration revealed on its official website that “the growing aviation sector in Morocco has made various purchase offers, including ready-made aircrafts, maintenance, equipment of airports’ infrastructure, especially with the presence of more than 140 airline companies in Morocco.
The Royal Moroccan Air Force have F-16 fighters, C-130 transport aircraft, CH-47D helicopters, and other US weapons, while the Royal Moroccan Navy uses modern frigates with digital communications made in USA.
The USA is the main source of equipments for the Moroccan army, along with France and Spain. Morocco is the largest buyer of American weapons on the African continent, and over the past decade, Morocco has strengthened its naval forces and equipped its army with advanced vehicles. In addition, this year, Moroccan army purchased 25 new F-16s, with a total budget of $2.8 billions , and bought 24 new Apache attack helicopters worths $1.6 billions, in addition to the desire to own “Patriot” air defense system and G55 scout plane.