A law governing the setting up of a military industry in Morocco has entered into force after it was published in the official gazette as the Kingdom plans to cut imports by locally manufacturing defense equipment.
The law lays down requirements for licenses for the setting up of plants to manufacture weapons, ammunition, and military and security equipment to be used for the Royal Armed Forces and exports as well.
The law includes provisions governing trade, transport and transit of military equipment as well as tracking systems.
The move is part of Morocco’s plan to modernize its army after Morocco sealed agreements with partners to cooperate through joint-ventures.
Morocco’s push to modernize its domestic military capabilities and arms industry comes at a moment marked by a surge of instability in north Africa and an arms race with Algeria that shows no signs of abatement.
The US is the Moroccan army’s main supplier with cutting-edge weapons including F 16 fighter jets and Abram tanks and Morocco has ordered Apache helicopters and state-of-the-art weaponry from Washington.
Actually, the Royal Armed Forces have placed a $9 billion order for the acquisition of 25 F16 jets and 36 Apache helicopter that will help it boost its defensive and attack capabilities.
By 2028, Morocco plans to have 48 F16 jets in total equipped with fifth generation radars and 36 Apache helicopters, according to FAR Maroc, a military portal specialized in the Moroccan army.
Besides aircrafts, the recent acquisition by Morocco of different types of frigates, Abram tanks, missile launchers as well as interest to purchase Patriot Air Defense Systems, show that the Royal Armed Forces remain consistent in their efforts to modernize weaponry.
Morocco’s recent US purchases would significantly tip the balance in the regional arms race with Algeria, a country whose chief of staff has trained and armed the Polisario separatist front and has described the north African kingdom as “the enemy”.
A report issued by the Strategic Defense Intelligence (SDI) said Morocco is poised to become Africa’s leading army in 2022 thanks to its advanced procurements. A prophecy that is set to become true as Morocco is on its way to unseat Algeria plagued by internal strife and dwindling revenues.
Morocco “consistently imports advanced arms and munitions such as fighter and training aircraft, ships, missiles, tanks and frigates to strengthen its armed forces; a trend expected to continue over the forecast period,” reads the report dubbed The Future of the Moroccan Defense Industry- Market Attractiveness, Competitive landscape and Forecasts to 2022.