Morocco seeking TOW missiles


The Kingdom of Morocco has requested the sale of 600 TOW 2A anti-tank guided missiles and associated equipment from the United States in a deal worth $157 million.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 17 November informed Congress of the possible sale, which includes 600 TOW 2A missiles (BGM-71E-4B-RF), seven TOW 2A Fly-to-Buy Lot Acceptance Missiles and 300 M220A2 TOW launchers. The BGM-71E-4B-RF is a wireless version of the BGM-71E with a tandem warhead for defeating explosive reactive armour.

Also included with this request are Missile Support Equipment; Government-Furnished Equipment; Technical Manuals/Publications; Spare Parts; Tool and Test Equipment; Training; U.S. Government Technical Support/Logistical Support; Contractor Technical Support; and other associated equipment and services.
“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 US DSCA said.

The principal contractor involved in this programme is Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona.

Morocco has recently received military hardware from the United States, with three refurbished CH-47D Chinook transport helicopters arriving on 15 August. Meanwhile, the Royal Moroccan Army will receive 150 upgraded M1A1 main battle tanks by 2018 under a $358 million contract awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems.

This follows an earlier contract awarded to General Dynamics. On 28 August the US Army awarded the company a $17 million contract to remove and dispose of 50 M1A1 frontal armour packages and install the M1A1 situational awareness frontal turret armour packages for Morocco.

In recent years, the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) received 24 Block 52 F-16 Fighting Falcons from Lockheed Martin, fitted with Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 Enhanced Engine Package engines and Raytheon ACES electronic warfare suites.

Morocco is a staunch ally and one of the biggest recipients of US military aid in North Africa. The RMAF regularly conducts annual training exercises with the USAF. It recently supported the US-led airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq with the deployment of six F-16 fighter jets. The RMAF also took part in the Saudi-led bombing against the Houthi rebels advance in Yemen. An F-16 was lost over the war-torn country in May.

The US and Morocco regularly hold joint exercises, such as Saharan Express and Phoenix Express.