By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv: Morocco has asked Israel to supply its armed forces with a long list of advanced defence systems. The list included different types of drones, radars, communication system and early warning systems.
Israeli sources confirmed that Israeli companies have been contracted to supply different drones, and build a local capability to manufacture drones. The sources said that Israel and Morocco are in the process of developing a project to produce “suicide” drones in the kingdom.
Sources said that the new agreement will allow Morocco to manufacture armed drones in commercial quantities and at relatively low costs. In addition, the sources added that the production line in Morocco is close to important export markets. The drone that will be produced in Morocco is intended for attack purposes but it can also carry out intelligence gathering missions.
The agreement for the joint project comes after several months of successful negotiations between the Moroccan side and the Israeli company Bluebird Aero Systems. Last year Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) purchased 50 % of Blue Bird’s shares.
Morocco was the fourth Arab state to establish ties with Israel last year after the signing of the Abraham Accords with some Gulf states.
Blue Bird develops and manufactures different types of drones for intelligence gathering missions. Since the acquisition of half of the company’s shares by IAI, it is developing new versions of armed drones that are in growing demand.
Recently, Israeli sources confirmed that Morocco is interested in the Elta ELM -2084 radar that is part of the Rafael Iron Dome air defence systems.
The ELM-2084 Multi-Mission Radar (MMR) detects high and low flying targets, tracks, classifies and generates a real-time Air Situation Picture of all aerial targets such as low Radar Cross Section platforms (e.g. UAVs, tactical aerial weapons, loitering munitions, cruise and Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM)) and Rockets, Artillery, and Mortars (RAM).
The MMR’s innovative design delivers high accuracy and rapid update rates, performing concurrent search with dedicated track beam. MMR can acquire targets through external cueing from a C2 system and can operate independently or be integrated into a radar network.