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    Morocco To Upgrade 2 Air Bases to Receive New F-16 Fleet

    Infrastructure projects in the two sites are expected to cost Morocco over $4 billion.

    08 Nov 2021

    Rabat - Morocco is expected to upgrade two of its Royal Air Force air bases to receive the fleet of the state-of-the-art F-16 Block 72 it ordered in 2019.

    Defensa, a website specialized in military affairs, announced that Morocco’s first project of air base rehabilitation concerns the country’s fifth air base located in Sidi Slimane in the Rabat-Sale Kenitra region.

    This project will include work on an air react stopping system as well as a safety management system. It will also include work on a cleaning area equipment for testing engines and safety simulators.

    The second project, which concerns the sixth air base in Ben Guerir, near Marrakech, will include the construction of a specialized facility for the storage of secure and sensible air combat data and material.

    The US Air Force has issued a tender for the two projects, Defensa reported, adding that contractors interested in the rehabilitation projects will be required to submit their initial completion period assessment 42 days after being awarded the contract.

    According to the military website, the Ben Guerir base is the only facility that can host F-16 Block 52+ in Morocco.

    Morocco will have to upgrade its military infrastructure after acquiring a fleet of 25 new Block 72 as well as the upgrade of 24 Vipers to Block 72.

    The Moroccan government is set to receive the shipment of its new flight of combat aircrafts in 2024, and the upgrade of air bases will cost the country over $4.7 billion.

    In recent years, Morocco has been putting more focus on upgrading its military capacity. The country has ordered several lat generation equipment from the US, its main arms supplier.

    In July, reports indicated that the US Air Force had awarded Raytheon Technologies a $212 million contract for the delivery of fighter aircraft engines to the Moroccan military.

    Raytheon will manufacture the engines at its manufacturing unit in East Hartford, Connecticut, with an expected completion date of June 30, 2025.

    In March, a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) put Morocco among the top 40 largest importers of major arms.

    According to the report, the US was the main arms supplier for Morocco (90%), followed by France (9.2%), and the UK (0.3%).

    “By the end of 2020 several large arms deliveries to Morocco remained outstanding, including for 24 combat aircraft and 24 combat helicopters from the USA,” SIPRI reported.

    The institute emphasized that Morocco’s arms imports are projected to “increase significantly” in the coming five years if its orders for US-made equipment are “implemented as planned.”


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