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Morocco cleared to buy 36 Apache helos

20 November 2019
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Morocco looks set to become the latest customer for the AH-64E Apache Guardian , with 36 helicopters and associated weapons and equipment approved by the US government on 20 November. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

Morocco has been cleared to buy 36 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters for an estimated value of USD4.25 billion.

Announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 20 November, the US State Department approval covers the latest-variant Apache helicopters, as well as related equipment, weapons, training, and support.

The equipment listed in the DSCA notification is standard to the AH-64E, while the weapons comprise Lockheed Martin AGM-114L/R Hellfire air-to-surface missiles; BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket kits and over 5,000 70 mm rockets; and Raytheon AIM-92H Stinger air-to-air missiles. Defensive countermeasures will also be provided for the helicopters, as will Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-2) equipment for the on-board control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa," the DSCA said.

The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF), which operates all the military's aviation assets, does not currently field a dedicated attack helicopter. The 24 Aerospatiale SA342L Gazelle helicopters it currently operates in the light attack role were procured from 1978 and need replacing.

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