Russian state arms export company Rosoboronexport will offer its Amur 1650 submarine to Morocco if the North African country announces a tender, the company has announced. Morocco is reportedly shopping for new submarines.
Rosoboronexport Vice-President Viktor Komardin at the International Maritime Defence Show on July 4 said that the company was “actively promoting” the Amur 1650 on the world market. He said Rosoboronexport “plans to offer it to Morocco should the kingdom announce a tender”.
ITAR-TASS quoted Komardin as saying that “if Morocco announces a tender for a submarine, we will take part and offer the Amur-1650.” He added that Rosoboronexport aims to improve military cooperation with Morocco, developing on an economic cooperation agreement. In terms of military cooperation, he noted that Russia has recently delivered Msta-S self-propelled howitzers to the North African country. “Morocco is showing an active interest in weapons for air defence and ground troops. The choice is now theirs to make,” said Komardin.
The Amur 1650, designed by the Rubin Naval Design Bureau in St Petersburg, can carry 18 missiles, torpedoes or mines (including anti-ship and cruise missiles) and can dive to 300 metres. It is an export model of the Lada class diesel-electric submarine, a modernised version of the Kilo class, featuring better acoustic stealth and new combat systems.
Provision has been made for the submarine to be fitted with an air-independent propulsion system, which would allow it to remain submerged for more than 25 days.
The Amur 1650 has been offered to meet the Indian Navy’s requirements for six submarines and is competing against France’s Scorpene, Germany’s Type 214 and Spain’s S-80, amongst others.
Morocco is enlarging its navy, having recently received three new Sigma class frigates from Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. It will soon take delivery of a FREMM frigate from DCNS. The current Moroccan fleet includes two Floréal-class frigates and a Descubierta-class corvette in addition to some 21 patrol craft and a number of other ships and vessels.