Thursday, September 21, 2017
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Morocco requests more TOW missiles

A TOW missile being launched.The United States has approved the possible sale of 1 200 TOW 2A anti-tank missiles to Morocco in a deal that could be worth $108 million.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 8 December that Congress was notified of the possible sale on 7 December.

The proposed sale includes 1 200 TOW 2A (BGM-71-4B-RF) missiles and fourteen TOW 2A lot acceptance missiles, logistics and support. Raytheon Missile Systems would be the main contractor should the deal proceed.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that continues to be an important force for the political stability and economic progress in North Africa,” the DSCA said.

The US State Department on 18 November last year approved the sale of 600 BGM-71E-4B-RF missiles and 300 M220A2 launchers worth an estimated $96 million.

Morocco is receiving substantial quantities of military equipment from the United States, and in July this year introduced into service the first of its recently acquired M1A1SA main battle tanks. The Royal Moroccan Army is set to receive 200 upgraded M1A1 tanks by 2018. Morocco received three refurbished CH-47D Chinook transport helicopters from the US in August last year.

In November this year, the Moroccan military took delivery of at least a dozen second hand M109A5 155 mm self-propelled howitzers from the United States. According to the US Excess Defense Articles database, Morocco requested 70 surplus M109A5 howitzers and these were authorised to be transferred in January this year.

Other equipment destined for Morocco includes 172 Northrop Grumman eye safe laser rangefinders and $405 million worth of Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS) from Harris Corporation.

More defence equipment may be on the way for Morocco, as the Excess Defense Articles database shows the US Army has been authorised to supply 600 excess M113A3 armoured personnel carriers, 150 M557A2 command post carriers, 48 000 M16A1/A2/A4 assault rifles, 14 000 M203 grenade launchers, 4 500 M240 machineguns and 7 000 M249 machineguns to Morocco. The authorisation for this equipment was given between March and September this year but this does not mean the transfer has or will necessarily go through.

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