The Kingdom of Morocco is carrying out some arms purchases that should start to worry Spain, if they haven't already.
On April 11, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) published a press release stating that the Secretary of State has approved the sale to Morocco of a series of systems of weapons and military vehicles worth 524.2 million dollars. Among the systems sold, it is worth highlighting:
These arms purchases are mainly explained by the rivalry between Morocco and Algeria. The first country receives Western support, while Algeria is a traditional strategic ally of Russia. However, Spain should be concerned about these purchases, since Morocco claims as its own territories that are Spanish: the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as the Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, the Chafarinas Islands, the Alhucemas Islands and the Perejil Island.
The part that should alarm Spain the most about the purchase of these weapons is the one related to the missiles. Specifically, the M-142 HIMARS missile launcher is proving very effective in Ukraine. This country, with fewer launchers than Morocco will have, is causing considerable damage to the invading Russian forces. The M-30A2 and M-31A2 missiles purchased by Morocco have a range of up to 92 km.
But of all the purchases from Morocco, what should alarm Spain the most is the ATACMS, this giant that you see on these lines. This is a long-range missile that the US has not wanted to transfer to Ukraine, claiming that it does not have many. The most credible explanation is that the Biden administration is afraid Ukraine will use them to attack occupied Crimea or even bases on Russian soil. The M-57 version purchased by Morocco has a range of 300 km. To give us an idea, a missile like that could be launched from Madrid and accurately hit a target in Cáceres.
The most alarming thing for Spain is that the Spanish Armed Forces currently lack surface-to-surface missile launchers like the HIMARS. In 2011, the 12 Teruel rocket launchers that the Army had in service were withdrawn, and since then Spain has lacked these weapon systems. In October 2022, the Spanish government announced the purchase of a SILAM high-mobility rocket launcher, but there has been no further news about it.
The most incomprehensible thing of all is that while Morocco makes millionaire purchases of weapons systems that Spain does not have, the government of Pedro Sánchez continues to give away vehicles to Morocco, as if it were a third world country that cannot afford these purchases. The most recent giveaway took place just two months ago and for an amount of 5 million euros.
Lead photo: U.S. Army. Two M-142 HIMARS missile launchers from the US Army's 41st Field Artillery Brigade during a June 2021 exercise in Morocco.
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