The Royal Moroccan Navy has taken delivery of two Metal Shark boats from the United States.
The boats were handed over on 24 March during a ceremony at the port of Agadir, local media reported.
“Today’s handover ceremony is yet another milestone in the strong security partnership between our two countries, focused on maintaining regional peace and stability,” Lieutenant Colonel Teremuura Shamel, Chief of the Security Cooperation Office at the US Embassy in Morocco, stated.
“Our two navies have a long history of working together to secure the high seas, and especially the short 13 kilometres of the Strait of Gibraltar, against crime, terrorism, drug smuggling and human trafficking. These issues do not respect international borders and require collaboration to combat them effectively.”
The two 11-metre boats, valued at $970 000, are were provided to help the Royal Moroccan Navy stop illicit trafficking in regional waters and are part of the broader military partnership between Morocco and the United States.
The United States has supplied numerous Metal Shark boats to African countries, including Kenya, Djibouti, Senegal, Cabo Verde and Benin.
Morocco is a close ally of the United States and has acquired other military hardware from the US, including F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, M1 Abrams tanks, and CH-47 Chinook helicopters. It participates in many US-led exercises, such as African Lion, Obangame Express, Phoenix Express, Lightning Handshake and Atlas Handshake.
Morocco will be hosting Exercise African Lion 2022 in June and is busy with planning and preparation. Portions of the exercise will also take place in Tunisia, Senegal, and Ghana.