On July 13 Council of Ministers, chaired by King Mohammed VI, approved a draft decree creating the post of military attaché to the kingdom’s embassies in India and Turkey.
New Delhi and Ankara are two promising markets for Defense procurements for the Royal Armed Forces (FAR). Last May, the FAR ordered TATA LPTA 2038 tactical transport trucks from India suitable for desert regions.
The rapprochement between the two countries was sealed in October 2015, during the visit of King Mohammed VI.
Since then, exchanges between the representatives of the two governments have multiplied. This was evidenced by the meeting by videoconference on October 22, 2020, between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
The Indian government is proposing the strengthening of technical military cooperation with Morocco, and some Indian companies have obtained the green light from the Moroccan Executive. In 2020, the Indian media said Rabat and New Delhi are scheduled to sign a military cooperation agreement.
In 2019, Indian defense giant Bharal Electronics Ltd (BEL) responded to a call for tenders from Morocco concerning the installation of surveillance and control radars at all airports. In addition, BEL has proposed to improve the communication capabilities of the Moroccan T-72 tanks. BEL also offered a system for monitoring the maritime coasts through high-performance location radars.
Morocco procures Indian tactical transport trucks
In May, the Moroccon press reported that the country had acquired tactical transport trucks from India to reinforce the fleet FAR. Branded Tata LPTA 2038, these military vehicles are suitable for desert regions such as south-eastern Morocco, where they will soon enter service.
Tata LPTA 2038 trucks ordered for FAR feature 6X6 high-mobility all-terrain all-wheel-drive, an onboard lift, and can be equipped with a common firing tower, a multi-barrel rocket launcher, or even a missile firing battery.
Tata LPTA 2038 will join other types of trucks FAR recently acquired from manufacturers Renault, Mercedes and Man. The military investment is part of a plan to renew the fleet of Moroccan army tactical vehicles.
6×6 Tata LPTA 1623 trucks with Moroccan FAR camouflage are already floating on social media.
Morocco’s defense procurement
Morocco has steadily increased its military budget in recent years. This year, the kingdom plans to invest nearly 5 billion US dollars in the modernization and strengthening of its army, which represents 4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Morocco plans to allocate about $4.8 billion this year to acquire military weapons, an increase of 54% compared to 2011. The military budget was deemed “moderate and realistic” by the Moroccan Minister of Defense, Abdelatif Loudiyi, who estimated last December that it was “insufficient, given the multiple missions of the Royal Armed Forces and the security threats in the area”.
Morocco has acquired 90% of its weapons from the United States, one of its military partners, 9.2% from France and about 0.3% from the United Kingdom.
Morocco has been engaged in an arms race with Algeria for years. The tension between the two countries has been rising steadily since 2021, to the point where some experts have raised the risk of armed conflict. Morocco has about 400,000 soldiers in the FAR.