The US State Department on Tuesday approved a $524.4 million weapons sale to Morocco, saying the purchase will bolster Rabat’s “counter-terrorism” efforts in northern Africa.
Morocco’s government asked to buy 18 rocket systems as well as 40 tactical missile systems, nine army vehicles, and 18 artillery data systems. The planned purchase also includes a long list of army equipment, from radio systems to camouflage screens.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency lauded the sale for improving Morocco’s security capabilities, particularly when fighting “violent extremist organisations” based in the Maghreb and Sahel region.
“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,” read the Defense Security Cooperation Agency statement.
“The proposed sale will improve Morocco’s capability to meet current and future threats and will contribute to Morocco’s ability to detect threats and control its borders, contributing to the maintenance of regional stability and security,” they said.
North Africa continues to face threats from groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Islamic State group.
There are also security challenges from “lone actors and small cells” who carried out a series of deadly attacks including bombings and the kidnapping of foreign tourists, according to the UN.
It said the principal contractors for the HIMARS will be Lockheed Martin; L3Harris; Raytheon; COBHAM; Oshkosh Defense; AAR Corp; and AM General LLC.
The principal contractor for the Joint Stand Off Weapons will be Raytheon, the Pentagon said.
From The Shadows Emerges Knowledge