Reconnaissance Satellite to Give Morocco Military Edge over Algeria
Morocco is set to bolster its reconnaissance capabilities through the launch of a state-of-the-art satellite. The move has stirred fears in Algeria.
After Spanish media raised concerns of Spain’s military officials over Morocco’s spy satellite, comes the turn of Algeria, which looks at Morocco’s steps to gain satellite technology with a suspicious eye.
“Total panic”, “A superiority that drives Algeria crazy”. It is thus that the news portal of French media, France inter, describes Algeria’s reaction to the news of the launch of a Moroccan reconnaissance satellite on November 8.
Algiers, which is arming itself, is finally aware of the strategic inefficiency of the stockpiles of weapons that it has steadily accumulated since the lifting of the military embargo in 2006. “This satellite will enable Moroccans to locate the positions of the Algerian army and the Polisario militias,” notes the website, adding that the satellite will be owned and used 100% by Morocco.
Regarding Spain’s concerns, the French media underlined that “Spain does not have these means of observation. It has shares in the French spy satellites Helios, but not more than 2.5%. In other words, it can use 2.5% of the space time of this satellite”.
According to France Inter, the Spaniards are infuriated, because before they can have the same advantages, the Spanish army will have to wait several years. “Meanwhile, their Moroccan friend and ally will have the possibility to spy on them freely, thanks to France,” stated the French media.
Morocco and France signed in 2013 an agreement shrouded in secrecy to build the €500 million satellite, which will enable Morocco to be the third African country, after Egypt and South Africa, to acquire such an advanced spy technology, said the French media.
Built by Airbus defense & Space Company, this Moroccan satellite will be launched from the European space port of Kourou in French Guiana using an Italian Vega rocket.