Morocco interested in buying Israel’s Iron Dome

Morocco is interested in buying the Iron Dome from Israel to defend against air threats, a deal defense sources have said. The Jerusalem Post It is unlikely to be signed anytime soon.

According to the French language Le Desk news site, Rabat has expressed interest in the system produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to intercept aerial threats such as mortar shells, rockets and drones.

The system “would guarantee the best defense of the sand wall in the Sahara, but also of the civil and military areas of a sensitive nature,” the report says.

Morocco built its 2,700-kilometer wall in its southern provinces in the 1980s to defend the country against the Polisario, an Algerian-backed militant group that has been fighting for Rabat’s independence.

Built with sand coated with landmines, the height of the wall varies, but rarely exceeds three meters.

The Polisario Front seeks full independence for Western Sahara and in November declared a 1991 truce “null and void” after Moroccan forces broke a road blockade to Mauritania that, according to the militant group, had violated the stop-gap agreement. the fire.

Tensions have recently escalated with Algeria, which broke diplomatic ties in August citing “hostile actions” by Morocco, which denied the charges.

The Iron Dome carries 24 pounds of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometers away and can calculate when the rockets will land in open areas, choosing not to intercept them, or towards civilian centers.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rabat, Morocco, on August 11, 2021 (credit: SHLOMI AMSALEM / GPO)

The Iron Dome, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets, is an integral component of Israel’s multi-layered defense matrix and has been used in several wars and dozens of rounds of conflict between Israel and terrorist groups in the Strip. Loop.

But, sources said The Jerusalem Post, the sale of such a system to Rabat is “unlikely at this time” and neither the Israeli Defense Ministry nor Rafael commented on the report.

Aside from Israel, which is the only country in the world to use the Iron Dome at the operational level, the United States Army recently deployed two batteries on the peaceful island of Guam to train and hone the deployment capabilities of troops that will be in charge of the system. .

The US Army purchased Rafael’s two standard batteries in August 2019.

There have also been reports that Saudi Arabia was interested in the Israeli manufacturing system after the Americans withdrew their THAAD and Patriot batteries from the kingdom.

But Morocco, unlike Saudi Arabia, has had close economic, diplomatic and military ties for years with Israel, and the two countries recently reestablished ties under the Abraham Accords along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited Morocco in August and inaugurated the country’s mission in Rabat. During his two-day visit, Lapid met with his counterpart Nasser Bourita and presented him with an invitation from President Isaac Herzog for King Mohammed VI to visit Israel.

In October, The Jerusalem Post reported that Defense Minister Benny Gantz will visit the North African state as ties continue to increase after the two normalized relations last December.

Although a date has not yet been set, Gantz will, according to foreign reports, sign defense cooperation agreements that include plans to develop a national industry to produce marauding ammunition.

According to Defense News and the French publication Africa Intelligence, the two countries are currently working on the development of a project to manufacture drones to strengthen Morocco’s air power.

Rabat, according to the report, became interested in the use of marauding munitions after Israel Aerospace Industries “highlighted” in a sales pitch the extensive use of the company’s Harop suicide drones by Azerbaijan during the two-month war with Armenia last year.

According to a report by Haaretz, the military ties between Israel and Morocco mainly involve intelligence cooperation and arms trade.

In June, a Moroccan C-130 landed in Israel to participate in an international drill. It was the first time that an aerial platform belonging to the North African country landed in the Jewish state.

In January last year, the Moroccan army received three Israeli reconnaissance drones in a deal worth about $ 48 million. The agreement between the two countries was signed in 2014 and closed through the French company Dassault.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *