The Israeli press reports that the Moroccan Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (FAR) have received a consignment of SPY-X kamikaze drones manufactured by the Israeli company Bluebird Aero Systems, strengthening their military capabilities.
The acquisition of these advanced unmanned aircraft marks the culmination of a process initiated in February 2021, following the resumption of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel in December 2020.
The entry into service of these Israeli aircraft coincided with the conclusion last week of seven months of training in China of Moroccan soldiers in the operation of Wing Loong II drones, already acquired by the FAR.
The media outlet Yabiladi reports that the purchase of the drones is part of a wider deal involving the acquisition by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) of a 50% stake in BlueBird Aero Systems, a deal concluded in September last year. However, the finalisation of the deal has been delayed due to political uncertainties in Israel, which have hampered the completion of the equity transfer.
The procurement of Israeli drones by the Moroccan army has already created controversy, early last year, when the Royal Armed Forces denied a report that it had acquired three Israeli-made reconnaissance drones.
In terms of drone procurement, Morocco has so far favoured the United States. Last December, three US sources told Reuters that Washington was negotiating the sale to Rabat of at least four sophisticated SeaGuardian MQ-9B aerial drones manufactured by General Atomics. These drones have a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,100 km) and could survey huge areas at sea and over the desert.
The SPY-X kamikaze drones, created by Bluebird Aero Systems, are one of the highlights of the 54th International Air and Space Show (SIAE), which takes place at the Paris-Le Bourget Exhibition Centre from 19 to 25 June 2023. It is the world's largest event dedicated to the aeronautics and space industry.
DayFR Euro reports that the SpyX has been named the latest jewel of the Israeli arms industry.
Among its key features are its long range and long endurance. The Spyx kamikaze drone has a range of 50 km and a flight time of 90 minutes. It can carry a 2.5 kg nuclear warhead, and a maximum total weight of 10 kg.
To take off, the Spyx drone is launched from a vehicle-mounted rail. With a length of 2 metres and a width of 1.4 metres, the drone is described by its creators as "precise", "advanced" and "easily deployable by a small team". Finally, the device is equipped with a 100% electric motor.
Bluebird Aero Systems
Bluebird Aero Systems is an Israeli company specialising in the development and production of fixed-wing unmanned aerial systems (UAVs). The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Petah Tikva, Israel.
BlueBird Aero Systems' products are used in a wide variety of applications, such as military intelligence gathering, border security and control, environmental monitoring, agricultural applications and others.