Further MAD 64 million to modernise Moroccan army

Morocco Business News 15/12/2008

Apart from the 2009 budget, the Moroccan military institution has earmarked about MAD 64 billion ( euro 5.8 miljard)  for modernising the army, reported the Moroccan Arabic-language daily ‘Assabah'.HM King Mohammed VI, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Armed Forces, “gave his assent for signing ‘important' deals for the two coming years with such countries as the United States, France, Italy, Russia, Spain and Belorussia,” explained the newspaper.
Assabah also said, quoting its sources, that the deals, worth up to MAD 63,953 billion, will include buying modern military equipment and modernising old ones. This amount will cover 20% of a deal to purchase 24 F-16 fighter jets from the American company Lockheed Martin, for USD 49 million each; four military transport jets worth Euro 165 million from Italy; a Halifax class frigate from France; besides completing the construction of the naval military base and port of Qsar Lakbir. According to the daily, the military institution also intends to buy, as part of the 2010 budget, 140 of the latest American M60A tanks, in addition to the 125 RussianT-90 tanks. Last month, the government allocated 34,625 billion (about USD 4 billion) as part of Morocco's defence budget for the year 2009.

All these efforts are part of a new defence strategy which is more in line with the current international threats. This new strategy, aiming at modernising and equipping the army with the necessary infrastructures, is based on two points. The first is the reorganisation of the Royal Armed Forces in terms of equipments, geographical redeployment and internal organisation.  The second centres on reinforcing moderate religious conscience within the army and immunising it, both intellectually and ideologically, from extremism. This strategy also advocates training and the opening up on other sectors, in order to develop and reinforce the personnel's knowledge in all domains.