Intel: US plans anti-ship missile sale for Morocco

al-monitor A Harpoon missile is launched from the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Shiloh during a live-fire exercise in 2014. Morocco plans to buy the version of the missile that is launched from F-16 jets. Photo by US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham.

Apr 14, 2020

Congress was notified today of US plans for a $62 million sale of anti-ship missiles for Morocco. Rabat has sought to buy 10 Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles, which include support equipment, personnel training and technical assistance.

Why it matters: Morocco intends to use the missiles on its F-16 fighter aircraft.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement. “The proposed sale of the missiles and support will increase the Moroccan Air Force’s maritime partnership potential and align its capabilities with existing regional baselines.”

What’s next: The Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s congressional notification of the sale paves the way for the transaction to move forward. Congress has not attempted to block arms sales for Morocco, a close US partner, in recent years.

Know more: Morocco has taken an increasingly assertive role in African politics in recent years. Read Ahmed Fouad’s account of why Morocco has started to back Egypt in its dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

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