Morocco is set to launch its second observation satellite, Mohammed VI-B, on November 20 to increase aerial surveillance of the country.
Rabat – The French Arianespace satellite launching company will launch into orbit the new Mohammed VI-B satellite, according to a November 13 press release from the company.
The satellite will launch from the Vega Launch Complex in Kourou, French Guiana.
The government has not officially confirmed acquiring a new satellite. Last September, Moroccan newspaper Almassae quoted an anonymous military source saying Morocco would launch a new satellite in November.
The satellite will undergo a pre launch safety inspection and logistics review on November 19 before the final launch countdown.
The Franco-Italian satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia and Airbus built the satellite.
The new satellite will reportedly serve non-military purposes such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, and map making.
Morocco’s first satellite, Mohammed VI-A, has also been used to monitor Polisario’s activities. It has also served as a border monitor, taking pictures with a precision of 50 centimeters.
The project is part of an agreement between France and Morocco signed in 2013 when former French President Francois Hollande visited Morocco.
MOHAMMED VI-A was launched in 2017 and cost Morocco €500 million, a considerable portion of the country’s 2017 military budget of $3.42 billion. Morocco ranks 51st in military spending globally.