The Moroccan government wants to develop “certain sectors of the military industry, in particular those of arms and ammunition, as well as the manufacture of drones capable of carrying out intelligence, surveillance and armed attack operations, in addition to aircraft maintenance soldiers”, indicated the Moroccan Minister in charge of the administration of National Defense, Abdellatif Loudyi, quoted on Saturday in a report of a meeting parliamentary around the draft budget allocated to defense for 2023.
Mr. Loudyi, who did not give more information on the nature of these operations, said that a project to build a military aircraft maintenance factory was entrusted to an international company specializing in the region. of Benslimane (north of Casablanca).
“Strengthening the independence” of Morocco
The minister also pointed out that the government has already adopted a law paving the way for the granting of licenses for the development of military industries “to strengthen the independence” of the kingdom in this field.
Moroccan and Israeli media reported in November 2021 on a $22 million contract – not officially confirmed – between Rabat and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s leading public aeronautical group, for the delivery of « drones suicide bombers”.
Morocco-Israel: a second Negev summit in Dakhla in early 2023
Israel and Morocco normalized relations in December 2020 as part of a normalization process between the Jewish state and several Arab countries, supported by the former US administration of Donald Trump.
Tensions with Algeria
The normalization of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel – in return for American recognition of Moroccan “sovereignty” over the disputed territory of Western Sahara – has further heightened tensions with Algeria, a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause.
Rabat already uses unmanned aircraft for intelligence and border surveillance purposes, according to Moroccan military experts.
Last April, one of the leaders of the Sahrawi separatists of the Polisario Front was killed following a Moroccan drone strike, according to certain unidentified reports. confirmed officially.