Rabat – Dutch magazine for military database and aviation Scramble announced on Tuesday that the Moroccan government is planning to purchase another series of F-16 Fighting Falcons.
The magazine said that Morocco plans to get 12 brand new single-seat F-16V Vipers, adding that the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces currently has 15 F-16C Block 52 and 8 F-16D Block 52s.
“The 24 FAR F-16C/Ds were delivered in 2011 and 2012 and are based at 6 Air Base Benguérir with Escadre de Chasse ‘Falcon’, ‘Spark” and ‘Viper,’ ” said the magazine.
According to the magazine, the aircrafts used by the Moroccan army are all built in the US, while Algeria receives its heavy military equipment from Russia.
Defense and weapons procurement publication Defense World reported on May 8 that the US Department of Defense has offered US aerospace and defense technology giant Northrop Grumman a military fund to power up Morocco’s M1A2S tanks with eye-safe lasers.
Defense World added that Morocco has bought 220 Abrams tanks “refurbished for the Kingdom through the US Army’s Excess Defense Articles (FDA) program.”
The US Pentagon approved the delivery of USD 115 million in military equipment in September 2017.
A 2018 report released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Morocco is the second largest arms importer in Africa, representing 12 percent of the continent’s total military imports in the 2013-17 period.
The same source said the US is Morocco’s main military supplier with a 52 percent share in Morocco’s imports. Despite its declining oil revenue, Algeria remains the largest importer of heavy military equipment in Africa.
A 2018 report issued by SIPRI earlier this month shows that although Algeria decreased its military expenditure by 5.2 percent between 2016-17, the country remains Africa’s largest importer of military arms, spending USD 10 billion.