The US State Department has approved the sale of Patriot missiles to Morocco. It is part of Morocco's comprehensive military modernization plan aimed at creating the largest and best equipped military on the African continent.
The North African Post reported that the US International Trade Administration considered and approved the sale of the missiles and a G550 reconnaissance aircraft. The scope of the Patriot deal was not released.
Last year, Morocco purchased 25 F-16 fighters equipped with 5th generation radar (for $2.8 billion) and 24 Apache attack helicopters (for $2.6 billion). There is also a plan for the establishment of a military industry in Morocco. Far Maroc, a website specializing in Moroccan military affairs, reported that Morocco plans to operate a total of 48 advanced F-16s in its Air Force, with a goal of maintaining air superiority in North Africa.
Morocco's King Mohammed VI recently sent a message to his country's Armed Forces in which he spoke of the modernization plan and emphasized that the Armed Forces must "remain the protective shield" for the defense of the nation's "sacred values".