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Morocco sets up two Israeli drone manufacturing units

Thanks to a geostrategic context, which is beginning to take shape in the Maghreb and the Sahel, Morocco, thanks to Israeli expertise, is on the verge of realizing its ambition to launch its own military industry.

Morocco and Israel signed a military memorandum of understanding in Rabat, the first of its kind between Israel and an Arab country. An act formalizing security relations between the two states, which date back to the first years of the kingdom’s independence.

The agreement marks “the start of official security cooperation between the two [countries]. It includes formalizing intelligence sharing and will link their defense industries, defense procurement and joint exercises,” Israel Defense Ministry Benny Gantz said.

According to some indiscretions, Rabat and Tel Aviv are preparing in the coming months the launch of two industrial weapons units in Morocco. “They should be used for the manufacture of drones”, indicates in statements a source close to the file. “For the time being, the places to host its two Moroccan-Israeli companies have not yet been specified, even if there is not yet official information which suggests the North-East and the South of the kingdom as possible drop-off points. of these units,” he explains.

Israel allows Morocco to realize an old ambition

“The locations will be determined after a series of careful reviews of the choices proposed by a joint committee of experts. Geographic and security criteria as well as proximity to ports and airports will be taken into consideration before deciding this question,” explains our source.

The military memorandum of understanding, concluded yesterday, will respond to an ambition repeatedly expressed by Morocco, namely the transfer of technology. In November 2019, the Minister Delegate for the National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudiyi had clearly claimed it. “The kingdom seeks to develop the maintenance of military equipment by requiring, as far as possible, its suppliers to undertake to transfer the equipment maintenance technology acquired to the services of the Royal Armed Forces,” he said in front of the deputies.

After the adoption of the legal framework necessary for the launch of an arms industry and in favor of a geostrategic context which begins to take shape in the Sahel, Israel offers to Morocco an opportunity to realize its ambition. “We have just signed a military cooperation agreement – with all that that implies – with Morocco. This is a very important event that will allow us to enter into joint projects and allow Israeli [defense] exports here. I think the ties between Morocco and Israel must continue to strengthen, develop and expand,” Benny Gantz said yesterday in a statement to Israeli media.

In a 2015 study, the US firm Frost & Sullivan ranked Morocco among the candidate countries for the emergence of a military industry in the next ten years. The established list also included Kuwait, Colombia, Malaysia and Singapore.

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