Morocco, North Africa’s Number One Buyer of French Weapons

Morocco is North Africa’s number one buyer of French weapons, says a new report by the French Defense Ministry.

According to the report, Morocco spent an estimated 1.8 billion Euros to acquire French manufactured weaponry, making the kingdom the sixth buyer of French arms worldwide preceded by Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

The report, cited by daily newspaper Al Massae in its Tuesday December 23rd issue, revealed that Morocco bought more than a billion Euros worth of French arms between the 2009 and 2013 period, while Morocco’s neighbor to the East Algeria spent 345 million Euros on acquiring French arms during the same period.

The same source added that Algeria remains heavily dependent on the Russian market to supply its army with military warfare equipment.

The Moroccan leaning towards buying French manufactured arms is explained, according to Al Massae daily, by the kingdom’s search for the latest cutting edge technology, something the French arms industry is known for.

This is welcome news to the French arms industry, which lost a bid to sell the French Rafale fighter for Morocco to the US, who supplied Morocco with 24 Block 52 F16s C in 2012 for $2.4 billion.

The French arms industry compensated for the loss of the Rafale sale when Morocco purchased a French and Italian joint mission Fremm Frigate. Named the Mohammed VI, the frigate is 142 meters long and weighs about 6,000 tons.

The Mohammed VI was built by DCNS in the West of France, starting in 2008 and delivered to Morocco in January 2014. It is manned by 108 crew and officers. The Fremm class frigate has multi-role capabilities, including anti-ship and anti-air missiles and anti-submarine warfare with torpedoes