Morocco is preparing to launch a factory to manufacture various defense equipment in an attempt to reduce its dependency on foreign arms suppliers and bridge the gap with Algeria, which is planning to establish a factory for military helicopters.
This military project, dubbed MCR Technologies, will be carried out at a total cost of 300 million dirhams as a joint venture with Belgian manufacturer Mecar and British Cherming, Moroccan daily Akhbar Al Yaoum reported.
Morocco will own 10% of the capital of this factory, which will stretch over a surface area of 1000 hectares.
This outsourcing of the defense industry to Morocco will also help the Kingdom reduce ammunition imports
Morocco’s decision to foster its domestic military industry capabilities comes at a moment marked by an arms race with Algeria that shows no signs of abatement.
Recently, Algeria and Italian defense industry giant, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, signed a joint venture to set up a military helicopters manufacturing plant near Setif in eastern Algeria. The factory will produce multipurpose light and medium Augusta West Helicopters that are used for transport, evacuation operations and surveillance.
Using its oil rent, Algeria shifted the regional balance of military equipment by spending approximately $10.5 billion a year on defense, more than three times as much as Morocco.