The defence imports of Morocco, the second biggest importer of weapons in the African continent, are forecast to increase during 2017-2022 as the nation intends to establish military superiority over North Africa, says a report by Strategic Defence Intelligence (SDI).
Titled ‘Future of the Moroccan Defense Industry-Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2022’, the report outlines the current and future trends in Moroccan defence industry.
Morocco’s indigenous defence industry lacks modern manufacturing capabilities, leading to continuous importation of modern arms and ammunitions such as fighter jets and training aircraft, missiles, main battle tanks (MBTs), and warships to meet the country’s military requirements.
The Moroccan government plans to procure warplanes, helicopters, submarines, patrol boats, frigates and radar systems in the future. The US is the main exporter of weapons to Morocco, while European nations including France and the Netherlands also export defence equipment to Morocco through the Association Agreement with the European Union (EU).
US exporters access the Moroccan market through the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations, while foreign OEMs access the market through government-to-government deals, and joint ventures.
Key challenges such as undefined offset policies for defence procurement and wide-spread corruption in procurement programmes, unethical workings, and eminence of the US and French firms within the Moroccan defence sector, however, hinder the entry of other foreign defence companies, according to the report.