Arms: Morocco and Algeria among top 12 buyers worldwide

Rabat's mega deal with Raytheon; Algiers shops in Moscow, Berlin

27 August, 13:10

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, AUGUST 27 - The US and Morocco recently signed a 12-billion-dollar arms contract, Moroccan Arab-language daily Al Massae reported Tuesday.

    The deal was inked under bilateral military cooperation accords on ''maritime security and fighting illegal maritime trafficking''. US defense contractor Raytheon has agreed to deliver last-generation systems, train personnel, and organize joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean.

    In spite of its economic difficulties Morocco has been steadily building up its military capability and is now the 12th arms importer worldwide, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (SIPRI) annual report. Between 2008 and 2012, Morocco bought 24 F16 C fighter jets from the US, 27 Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jets from France, three Sigma class corvettes from Holland, and 57 90-2 tanks from China. This means Morocco's arms buying has multiplied by 1,460 times in that period, according to SIPRI.

    Neighboring Algeria's weapons acquisitions jumped by 277 times in comparison, moving from 22nd world arms importer in 2011 to 6th this year, SIPRI data showed. On its shopping list: Russian Sukhoi fighter jets, plus two submarines and two warships from Germany. (ANSAmed).

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