Morocco to acquire US military vehicles worth $240 mln

The US State Department cleared the sale to Morocco of 25 of BAE Systems’ M88 recovery vehicles for a total cost of $239.4 million.

Under the same deal, Morocco will receive 50 caliber machine guns, M239 or M250 smoke grenade launchers, 1,800 M76 or L8A1/A3 smoke grenade rounds, 25 SINCGARS radios, AN/PSN-13A GPS receivers (DAGR), and 30 AN/VAS-5B Driver Vision Enhancer kits, the US Security Defense Cooperation Agency said.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa,” it said.

The new equipment will help the Royal Armed Forces strengthen capabilities in terms of combat vehicles and training as well as to modernize its arsenal.

“Morocco will have no difficulty absorbing these vehicles into its armed forces, the agency said.

The deal comes in a series of advanced acquisitions by Morocco of US military equipment. Last November, the US State department cleared the sale of36 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $4.25 billion.

Earlier in September last year, the US approved the sale to Morocco of additional F-16 ammunition for an estimated cost of $209 million.

The US State Department also “made a determination approving” a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of various TOW-2A missiles for an estimated cost of $776 million.

Morocco also sealed last January contracts worth €400 million with France to acquire Caesar self-propelled howitzer and related ammunition.

Morocco is one of the biggest arms buyers in Africa and maintains one of the largest and technically advanced armies on the continent as it also seeks to set up its own military industry to reduce imports.

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