The Royal Armed Forces (FAR) are said to be in negotiations with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and the Italian AgustaWestland for the acquisition of 22 T129 ATAK attack helicopters for a value of 1.3 billion dollars.
In an article entitled “The unstoppable rearmament of Morocco”, the conservative Spanish daily “La Razón” indicates that the contract includes the acquisition of missiles and electronic equipment for the new aircraft.
Morocco is currently at an advanced stage of negotiations with Turkey for the acquisition of 22 T129 ATAK attack helicopters for a value of 1.3 billion dollars, reports the Spanish daily, referring to the magazine Tactical Report.
After the purchase of 12 Turkish drones, this agreement includes missiles and avionics (electronic, electrical, computer equipment, etc.). According to the same source, the contract is worth $ 1.3 billion.
Tactical Report indicates that these negotiations between Rabat and Ankara began in 2018, but have experienced several interruptions, first due to the deterioration of diplomatic relations between the two countries. And on the other hand, by the sanctions imposed on Turkey, a member of NATO, by the United States at the end of 2020.
The administration of former President Donald Trump decided on an embargo on the sale of Turkish helicopters (equipped with American engines) in reaction to Ankara’s intention to buy Russian S-400 missiles. These events delayed the negotiations, which are now relaunched.
According to La Razón, the acquisition of these helicopters will strengthen the deterrent capacity of the Royal Air Force (FRA), by joining its fleet, which is mainly made up of the “Gazelle”, “Bell 205” reconnaissance and combat helicopters. and “Belle 206”, Chinooks and the “Predator” (US) and Eads Harfang (EU) drones. Without forgetting the fleet of F16s and other fighter planes.
Turkey will also supply Morocco with missiles for the ATAK T129, including CIRIT 70mm laser guided missiles, AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles (ASM) and Stringer air-to-air missiles (ATAS).
La Razón recalls that Morocco has already concluded several other armaments contracts with Turkey. Morocco has ordered 13 armed Bayraktar TB2 drones, worth 626 million dirhams. And, more recently, an order for the purchase of around thirty Ejder Yalcin armored vehicles.