The Kingdom will obtain Chinese HJ-9A anti-missile systems as a source of diversification of its defensive military capabilities

Morocco relies on Chinese arsenal to strengthen its military power

AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN - En esta foto de archivo tomada el 6 de diciembre de 2004, un misil Hongqi-2 de fabricación china se exhibe en el Museo Militar de Pekín
photo_camera AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN - In this file photo taken on December 6, 2004, a Chinese-made Hongqi-2 missile is displayed at the Military Museum in Beijing

As part of the North African country's military strategy to become a global superpower, the Kingdom has reached an agreement to upgrade and develop a defence system within reach of very few. Specifically, Rabat hopes to improve and boost its defensive military capabilities, particularly technologically advanced ones. The Chinese missile system known as the "HJ-9A" was recently acquired by Morocco, according to the international website "The Defense Post", which specialises in news about international arms deals. These military vehicles can be effective targets for the Red Arrow 9A, an anti-tank system and armoured vehicles.

The same source stated that the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces currently possess this missile system. It was designed to attack tanks, armoured vehicles and fortified buildings because of its missile's ability to penetrate armour at ranges of more than 5 kilometres. It can be mounted on a vehicle or used separately on a tripod. One of the best armoured and anti-tank missile systems in the world today, this missile system is distinguished by its availability of a radar guidance system that uses millimetre waves to improve the accuracy of targeting and guidance mechanisms.

AP/PHOTO/Mark Schiefelbein - Spectators wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing, Oct. 1, 2019.
AP/PHOTO/Mark Schiefelbein - Spectators wave Chinese flags as military vehicles carrying DF-41 ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads roll during a parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China in Beijing on October 1, 2019

Morocco is signing more arms deals with different parties to increase its military capabilities as a result of changes in the region. According to The Defence Post, this system joins a collection of systems that Morocco already has in this area, including the HJ-8L system, which can target military vehicles up to a distance of 4 kilometres. As a result, Morocco is strengthening its capabilities, in particular its technologically advanced defensive military capabilities.

In light of the Royal Armed Forces' current possession of a variety of high-quality land, air and sea weapons, including F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters and Abrams tanks, as well as the recent arrival of US "HIMARS" missiles owned by the Armed Forces, military experts say the arms deals signed by Morocco and China fall within the framework of the two nations' strategic partnership. 

The development of the Royal Armed Forces for their defensive and offensive capabilities, and the opening to the new generation of weapons and defence systems, as well as the precision warfare technology industry owned by China, according to Nabil Al-Andalus, head of the Maghreb Centre for Research and Strategic Studies, falls within the framework of diversifying the Kingdom's partners and gaining their trust. 

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Veh铆culo blindado del Ej茅rcito de Marruecos
PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Armoured vehicle of the Moroccan Army

Morocco's purchase of this missile system from China is part of improving bilateral ties between Rabat and Beijing, according to the website "The Defense Post", as China recently expressed its desire to deepen its defence cooperation with Morocco, noting that Morocco established a military base in 2021. China provides long-range air defence. The Moroccan military recently purchased modern, state-of-the-art electronic warfare weapons from China, Israel and the United States. 

PHOTO/AFP - Helic贸ptero Apache
PHOTO/AFP - Apache Helicopter

These supplies include electronic warfare weapons, a new squadron of F-16 fighters equipped with state-of-the-art technological systems, advanced Israeli defence systems such as the "Barak MX" System, as well as numerous state-of-the-art military gears, and a shipment of the world's most powerful missile launcher, the Chinese AR2. The strategic partnership between China and Morocco is reflected in the arms deals Morocco has made with China. In addition to allocating approximately $12 billion to the Moroccan government, ongoing changes in the region have led Morocco to finalise more arms deals to strengthen its armed forces, particularly those related to upgrading its fleet of cars and trucks for military transport. 

China is considered one of the international destinations used by Morocco for arms purchases, alongside nations such as the United States, which remains Rabat's main arms supplier. Al-Andalus confirmed in statements to The Arab Weekly that the military equipment Morocco now possesses, whether imported from China or from the United States and others, has altered a number of data on the size of the Royal Army and its effectiveness in the air, land and sea, in accordance with the geostrategic balances related to the changes taking place, which require the development of the Moroccan army's defensive and offensive capabilities, whether at the human or logistical level.

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