Moroccan army to bolster attack capabilities with more offensive helicopters

Attack helicopters have for long been a black hole in the Moroccan army but now no more as Morocco seeks to bolster capacity with mighty US and Turkish helicopters.

Reports pointed that Morocco is negotiating a deal with Turkey to buy 22 T129 ATAK helicopters worth 1.3 billion dollars.

The deal would add to an order of 36 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $4.25 billion.

The acquisition will bolster the attack capabilities of Morocco’s Royal Air Force which currently operates 24 Aerospatiale SA342L Gazelle helicopters procured from 1978 that need replacing.

Aware of the importance of air superiority to counter any national security threat that may result from the growing instability in the Sahel and Algeria, Morocco has also ordered an additional batch of 25 units of F-16C/D Block 72 fighter jets that will bring the total number of the Moroccan F 16 fleet to 48 units.

Morocco’s evolving military strategy is also attaching particular importance to drone warfare which has proved very efficient in thwarting attacks by the Algeria-backed separatists in recent months.

Soon after the proclamation by President Trump of the US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara and the resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel, Reuters reported that the US moved forward with the sale of four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones and precision-guided weapons worth $1 billion to Morocco.

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