A major Israeli state-owned defense contractor has inked a deal to supply Morocco with a multi-tiered missile defense system, only months after the two countries signed a defense pact paving the way for arms sales and closer intelligence cooperation between the two countries.
According to sources who spoke to Channel 12 and the financial daily Globes, Morocco has agreed to purchase Israel Aerospace Industries’ BARAK MX Integrated Air & Missile Defense System in an over half a billion dollar deal.
The system, which can be configured for naval or land use and is intended for use against missiles and drones, features “three available interceptors for different ranges, all with an active RF seeker” and provides “single integrated solutions for multiple simultaneous aerial threats from different sources and different ranges,” according to the manufacturer’s website.
These interceptors are the BARAK MRAD with a range of 35 kilometers (21.7 miles), the BARAK LRAD with a range of 70 kilometers (43.4 miles) and BARAK ER, which can hit targets up to 150 kilometers (93.2 miles) away.
Sources in Morocco told Channel 12 that the two sides began discussing the deal during Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s November 2021 visit to Rabat, during which he signed a defense memorandum with his Moroccan counterpart, Abdellatif Loudiyi.
During his visit, Gantz and Loudiyi agreed to formalize security cooperation in a memorandum of understanding that paved the way for closer intelligence cooperation and arms sales.
Rabat is concerned over Russia supplying neighboring Algeria with advanced weaponry and systems that it believes could pose a threat to Morocco's security.
- In Landmark Morocco Visit, Gantz Inks Defense Pact That Paves the Way for Arms Sales
- Not Just NSO: Israel, Morocco Working Together on Cybersecurity
- The Arms Deals Morocco and Israel Don't Want You to Know About
Israel and Morocco enjoyed low-level relations throughout the 1990s, which came to an end following the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000. However, informal relations were maintained and over the years and were reestablished with the signing of the Abraham Accords in late 2020.
Morocco has purchased Israeli drone technology via third parties, Globes reported.