Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide the Moroccan army with the Barak MX air and missile defense system in a deal worth more than $500 million, according to international sources involved in the defense system trade.
The Barak MX missile defense system is flexible and modular and can protect against a range of missile threats and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). The system provides management of three types of interceptors from IAI's Barak family: Barak-MRAD is a single pulse rocket motor, which intercepts missiles up to ranges of 35 kilometers; Barak-LRAD is a dual pulse rocket motor, which intercepts missiles up to ranges of 70 kilometers; and Barak-ER dual pulse rocket motor and an additional booster for a range of 150 kilometers.
Barak-MX is supported by radar and various launchers for the best coverage of combat aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, cruise missiles, ground-to-air missile and ground-to-ground missiles.
Morocco initially made enquiries about Israel providing these and other systems when Minister of Defense Benny Gantz visited the country last November. During the visit Gantz signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) about defense collaboration between the two countries including such deals.
According to defense sources, Morocco spoke with Israel about its needs and Israel proposed several alternatives, of which the Barak system was chosen because of its flexibility and capabilities in various areas. IAI CEO Boaz Levy visited Morocco secretly and presented the missile defense systems capabilities and closed the details of the deal. IAI's new appointed chairman Amir Peretz has also been deeply involved in the deal.
Morocco is involved in a diplomatic and military confrontation with Algeria as well as with various militant Islamic and separatist terrorist organizations operating in the region. The fear in Morocco is that like the UAE, which has come under fire from the Iranian-backed Houthi based fighters, it will come under attack from similar organizations in its region.
Morocco has already purchased Heron UAVs from IAI and other UAVs from IAI unit Bluebird as well as robot patrol vehicle systems from Elbit Systems and drone interceptors from Skylock. All these purchases from Israeli companies were carried out through third parties. But following the signing of the Abraham Accords and accompanying agreements, including the MoU signed during Gantz's visit, purchases from now will be conducted directly.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 13, 2022.
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