Algeria is the sixth largest importer of arms despite an internal crisis, which directly impacts its economy.
Rabat – Morocco is among the top 40 largest importers of major arms, a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Morocco ranked 29th out of 40. The report shows the US as the main arms supplier for Morocco (90%), followed by France (9.2%), and the UK (0.3%).
Despite internal crises, Algeria is sixth on the list. Algeria imports most of its arms from Russia (69%), Germany (12%), and China (9.9%).
Despite the significant numbers, SIPRI acknowledged that imports of major arms by African states decreased by 13%.
The major importers of arms on the continent are Algeria with 4.3% of global arms imports, followed by Morocco (0.9%), and Angola (0.5%).
The arms imports of Morocco and Algeria accounted for 70% of the total African imports of major arms during the 2016-2020 period.
Within the same period, Morocco’s imports of arms decreased by 60%.
“By the end of 2020 several large arms deliveries to Morocco remained outstanding, including for 24 combat aircraft and 24 combat helicopters from the USA.”
SIPRI expects Morocco’s arms imports to “increase significantly” in the coming five years if the orders from the US are “implemented as planned.”
Meanwhile, Algeria’s arms imports recorded an increase of 64% between 2016-2020 compared to 2011-2015.
The deliveries from Algeria’s arms supplier, Russia, included 16 combat aircraft, 42 combat helicopters, and 2 submarines.
“Notable deliveries to Algeria included 2 frigates from Germany and 2 Frigates from China,” the report said.
Morocco’s defense budget is estimated at $6 billion, the Global Firepower Index said in January.
The report also ranked Morocco’s military strength in the 53rd position out of 137 countries overseas.
It is fifth in Africa.
With the new ranking, Morocco climbed three spots from the 2020 ranking.
The report said Morocco has 83 fighters, two tanker fleets, and four special missions, in addition to 3,003 tanks, 8,000 armored vehicles, and 144 rocket projectors.
Algeria’s military, meanwhile, is the 27th worldwide and second in Africa in terms of military strength.