Morocco to Purchase Barak 8 Missile Defense System Off Israel

Israel Aerospace Industries is reportedly in discussions with Morocco to sell it the medium-range Barak 8 Surface-to-Air Missile system.

Reports claim that IAI marketing director Sharon Bitton led the negotiations.

For the coming year, Morocco’s defense budget includes $12.8 billion for its military modernization.

Rabat has held negotiations with suppliers from several nations to purchase medium- and long-range air defense systems, including the Patriot system from the United States and NORINCO’s Sky Dragon 50 medium-range surface-to-air missiles from China.

At a range of 50-70 kilometers, Barak-8’s MR-SAM system can shoot down enemy aircraft. The system is designed to defend naval vessels against a wide range of short to long-range airborne threats, including incoming missiles, planes, and drones at both low and high altitudes. 

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The system was developed jointly by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel’s Israel Aircraft Industry (IAI)’s Elta, RAFAEL, as well as additional companies in both countries. The system is used by Israel’s navy as well as India’s naval, air and ground forces.

It integrates several advanced state-of-the-art systems such as a digital radar, a command-and-control system, interceptors with advanced homing radio frequency (RF) seekers, a data link, and system-wide connectivity. It is also capable of engaging multiple targets simultaneously in severe saturation scenarios and can be operated in all types of weather.

A total of eight canisterized missiles will be loaded onto the launcher’s two stacks, and the missiles can be fired in single or ripple mode from a vertical position. 

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Morocco has long had close economic, diplomatic, and military ties with Israel, and in December Defense Minister Benny Gantz made his first official visit to the country to sign defense cooperation agreements.

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