Morocco has allocated a $1.5 billion budget to purchase the 24 new Apache attack helicopters as part of a strategy to strengthen the military with sophisticated vehicles.
Export.gov, a portal managed by the US Department of Commerce, shared an overview of Morocco’s military on July 15, showing Morocco’s latest military purchase activities.
The overview shows that Morocco has put in a bid for 24 new Apache attack helicopters at $1.5 Billion.
Apache attack helicopters are among the most advanced equipment and are heavily used by the US Army as well as other international militaries.
“Over the last decade, Morocco has strengthened its navy and equipped its army with sophisticated vehicles,” said Export.gov.
The website also recalled the most significant purchase made by Morocco, which included the 25 new F-16 aircraft in 2019.
“The Moroccan defense budget is expected to grow to $3.9 billion by 2022,” emphasized the website.
Morocco’s military budget slightly increased from MAD 29.4 billion ($3.2 billion) in 2012 to MAD 34.7 billion in 2018 ($3.5 billion), according to the 2018 Trends in World Military Expenditure report released in April 2019.
Export.gov added that Morocco made other significant purchases, including the “162 new M1A1 tanks at $.75B, 300 TOW missile launchers with 1800 missiles at $180 Million, and significant interest in purchasing High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), PATRIOT Air Defense systems, and G550 reconnaissance aircraft. Morocco is the largest U.S. weapons buyer in Africa.”
The overview said that Morocco signed a contract in 2019 to be provided with “technical support for their Abrams tanks.”
“The Royal Moroccan Air Force flies F-16 fighters, C-130 transport aircraft, and CH-47D helicopters, among other U.S.-origin equipment, while the Royal Moroccan Navy operates modern frigates equipped with U.S.-origin digital communications” according to the government website.
Morocco received 62% of its arms from the US between 2014-2018. Morocco also received 32% of its major arms from France, a second major supplier for Morocco.
Export.gov said that Spain is also among the list of major military suppliers to Morocco.
“Morocco’s military expenditures totaled about $48 billion between 2005 and 2015,” the website added.