Morocco purchases 150 unmanned drones from Israel: report
Morocco has obtained at least 150 military drones from Israel, in the latest military deal struck between the two countries following the controversial normalisation of ties two years ago which sparked protests in the kingdom.
Spanish news website Infodron reported that Morocco's Royal Armed Forces purchased the WanderB and ThunderB VTOL type drones "to support its military capabilities".
This includes reconnaissance and surveillance, air defence, and emergency situations such as natural disasters, the report added.
Israel's BlueBird Aero System, a company specialised in designing and developing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems equipment, announced that it had signed a contract with the North African kingdom to supply it with unmanned aircraft "worth tens of millions of US dollars".
The actual cost of the deal was unclear.
"The WanderB is distinguished by its ability to operate anywhere without a runway and to take off and land vertically. It is also known for its low noise level due to the use of electric motors," wrote Infodron.
"TheThunderB is a more complete drone, with a range of up to 150 kilometres and a tracking antenna that can last more than 12 hours. It has a maximum take-off weight of 35 kilos and can fly in inclement weather".
Morocco and Israel formally established relations under US auspices in 2020.
Since then, a steady stream of Israeli military officials visited Morocco to sign security cooperation and participate in shared military training exercises. Rabat has purchased military equipment from Israel worth $1.2 billion, and Tel Aviv reportedly intends to double this amount.
A senior Moroccan military chief visited Israel earlier this month to take part in the International Operational Innovation Conference hosted by the Israeli army.
The US-brokered agreements between Israel and four Arab states in 2020 – dubbed the Abraham Accords – has angered Palestinians who see it as a betrayal of their cause against Israeli occupation.