Strengthening its position in the Maghreb, Morocco is taking a decisive step in its rise in military power thanks to a strengthened defense partnership with the United States.
Launch of Apache AH-64E production for Morocco
Boeing has started production of 24 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters for Morocco, the manufacturer announced on November 13. This start of work, carried out at the Mesa factory in Arizona, comes three and a half years after the signing of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract in June 2020, for an undisclosed value. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2024.
Technical details and armaments of the Apache AH-64E
According to the US State Department’s approval for this acquisition, Morocco’s new Apaches will be armed with AGM-114L/R Hellfire air-to-surface missiles from Lockheed Martin, APKWS laser-guided rocket kits from BAE Systems, as well as more than 5,000 70mm rockets. Raytheon’s AIM-92H Stinger air-to-air missiles are also included. The Apaches will also be equipped with defensive countermeasures, as well as Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-2) equipment for control on board unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Strengthening Morocco’s air power in the Maghreb
The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF), which manages all of the country’s military air assets, does not currently have a dedicated attack helicopter. The 24 Aérospatiale SA342L Gazelle helicopters currently used in a light attack role were acquired in 1978 and require replacement. The integration of the Apache AH-64E will mark a significant strengthening of Morocco’s air power and a modernization of its combat capabilities. The acquisition of these Apache AH-64E helicopters represents a major turning point for the Moroccan armed forces. Not only will this modernize their air fleet, but it will also increase their capacity to respond to various regional threats, thus underscoring Morocco’s commitment to modernizing and strengthening its defense capabilities.
Tags: Boeing, Apache AH-64E, Morocco, Production, Mesa, Arizona, Foreign Military Sales (FMS), Armament, Lockheed Martin AGM-114L/R Hellfire, BAE Systems APKWS, 70mm Rockets, Raytheon AIM -92H Stinger, Defensive Countermeasures, Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-2), UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF), Aérospatiale SA342L Gazelle, Military modernization.