Morocco on track to produce drones
As part of its defense industry strategy, Morocco is on track to produce reconnaissance and combat drones in partnership with Israel, according to a parliamentary report.
The two countries had signed a defense pact following the restoration of their diplomatic ties. Moroccan and Israeli top generals met on multiple occasions and Rabat had received a delegation of Israel’s Aerospace Industries which makes multiple types of drones.
Morocco had approved a law that allows the setting up of joint ventures in the defense industry as it aspires to reduce its dependence on the imports of arms.
The parliamentary report also cites minister in charge of defense administration saying Morocco would establish a military airport in Khouribga dedicated to Apache AH-64.
Morocco had ordered 24 Apache helicopter to fill the gap in its offensive capabilities and foster its deterrence by ensuring regional air superiority.
The Kingdom also plans to set up a maintenance plant for its F-16 fighter jets. The plant will be run by Belgium’s Orizo in Benslimane near Casablanca.
In March 2019, the State Department approved the sale to Morocco of 25 F-16C/D Block 72 jets, built by Lockheed Martin and 29 Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines and other related equipment from the U.S. government under a potential $3.9 billion deal.
This delivery will further bolster Morocco’s air force supremacy in the region as the North African country plans to revamp its operating fleet of 23 F16 with state-of-the art electronic systems and weaponry for $983 million.
The Moroccan military ordered 24 F-16s in 2008 and lost one in 2015 while taking part in the Saudi-led air operations in Yemen.