Morocco recently announced the acquisition of the French-made VL-MICA missile system (acronym for “Interception, Combat and Self-Defense missile”) was designed to protect vital and sensitive installations, in particular against air threats and surface-to-air missiles.
Morocco is also preparing to receive the European MDBA MICA system, a multi-target, all weather, short and medium range. It is intended for use by both aerial platforms and individual missiles, as well as ground units and ships, and it will strengthen the Chinese Sky Dragon missile system already in existence with our Royal Armed Forces (FAR ). So here are two great contracts for the French armaments manufacturers and a great acquisition for our valiant FAR.
According to corroborating sources, Nexter signed a contract worth 200 million euros for the sale of Caesar truck artillery systems (170 million) and its ammunition (30 million). These contracts could be officially announced during Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Morocco on February 12 and 13.
To do this, the Moroccan government had approved an export loan agreement with the French bank BNP Paribas for the acquisition of these new ground-to-air defense systems. Announced on May 18, 2020 in the official journal of Morocco, the loan agreement was officially approved on May 11 by decree. Valued at 192.1 million euros, it will be used to finance a “Commercial contract” between the French company MBDA specializing in aeronautics, space and the armaments industry, and the Moroccan Ministry of Defense.
In its land configuration, the VL MICA system consists of a series of truck-mounted elements, including a tactical operations center, the Sagem SIGMA 30 radar and launcher vehicles that can carry between three and six launchers at several rounds with the missiles in clusters of four rounds.
It is an open secret that Morocco has been increasing its acquisitions of military equipment in recent years with a view to modernizing its various army corps (land, air, sea). In 2019, the Kingdom spent around $ 3.76 billion on arms purchases. This amount is up $ 65 million from the previous year, according to estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The Mica Missile was developed by the MATRA company.
The first tests were carried out using Rafale and Mirage 2000 planes. This system will be the second air defense system after the Chinese SKY DRAGON which is used by the FAR artillery group. The Royal Armed Forces of Morocco are positioned at 6e rank of African armies, according to the 2020 Global Fire Power ranking. In addition, for some time now, the Kingdom has been strengthening its military arsenal, with the support of the United States and Israel (Training delivery of sophisticated weapons, installation of weapons factories on Moroccan soil but also advanced negotiations for the purchase of Barak-8 missiles with the Israeli public company IAI (Israeli Aerospace Industries) headed by Amir Peretz, Israeli-Moroccan born in Bejaad.
In any case, this was suggested on December 28 by an Israeli media specializing in Defense. These acquisitions come within the framework of the management of the conflict created by Algeria which unilaterally severed its relations while supporting separatists, having declared war on Morocco, that’s it, more than a year already without war or, apart from a few skirmishes which will have cost the Polisario dearly. Indeed very recently the movement relieved itself of three of its members, killed during an attempt to infiltrate the seat belt.
Eight other members were injured and their vehicles destroyed. For this conflict, the FAR are using, among other weapons, Israeli and Turkish-made drones from its bases in southern provinces, such as Smara. Still, this reinforcement has for mission the defense of the national territory and, in any case, a strategy of aggressiveness towards the neighboring countries like Algeria and Spain.