Moroccan, French armies wind up military exercise Chergui 2022
The Moroccan and French armies held a new version of their Chergui military exercise in eastern Morocco involving land and air forces.
The drills took three weeks in the eastern region of Errachidia focusing on enhancing armies’ interoperability.
The exercise is part of the Moroccan army’s efforts to boost readiness amid a surge of threats to regional security across North Africa and the Sahel region.
Morocco has also invested in renewing its arsenal with modern equipment with media reports evoking Moroccan plans to acquire 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 jet 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.
Israeli media also reported that Morocco seeks Barak MX air and missile defense system in a deal worth more than $500 million.
Morocco has already indirectly purchased Heron UAVs from IAI and other UAVs from IAI unit Bluebird as well as robot patrol vehicle systems from Elbit Systems and drone interceptors from Skylock.