US backs Javelin missiles sale to Morocco


As reported by Reuters on March 19th, the US State Department has announced that it has authorized the sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Morocco. The arms deal represents yet another step towards the strengthening of US-Morocco defense relations and constitutes a significant investment for the North African country, which is seeking to expand its defense capabilities. This decision by Morocco is a direct response to Algeria’s unprecedented military spending in recent years, which has seen the country sign arms deals with both Russia and China, fueling regional tensions to a new high.

READ: U.S Military Base in Morocco

The deal, reportedly valued at around $260 million, includes Javelin missiles and all their related equipment, with Lockheed Martin and RTX Corp as the main contractors responsible for the production of the missile system. The FGM-148 Javelin, is globally recognized as the tip of the spear when it comes to anti-tank warfare, known for its infrared guidance, a system which results in the missile gaining a significant altitude before striking the target from above, making it extremely accurate and effective.

The sale underscores the US’s commitment to its bilateral partnership with Morocco, seeing the country’s territorial security and defense as an important priority in the region. The arms deal is not the first of its kind, on April 2023, the US announced an even larger $524 million sale of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars) to Morocco, with joint military exercises like “African Lion 2023” also being common between the two countries.

READ: Morocco in Focus for American Military Strategy

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), along with many experts have deemed the deal as crucial for US foreign policy objectives, with Morocco representing a key ally outside the umbrella of NATO. The decades-old tensions in relations between Morocco and Algeria, which is supported by Russia, undoubtedly also play a role in the US looking to strengthen Rabat and its defensive caliber, despite assertions by US officials that the arms deal will not shift military balances in the region.

The agreement also includes US technical support and training programs for the Moroccan military personnel which will be called to utilize the missile system.



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