Spain lost this capability when it withdrew the Teruel rocket launchers in 2011

The millionaire purchase of missile launchers by Morocco: Spain lacks these weapons

The Kingdom of Morocco is carrying out some arms purchases that should start to worry Spain, if they haven't already.

The military purchases that Spain plans: MPA, MLRS and a substitute for the EF-18 and Harrier II
HIMARS: this is how works the rocket launcher that is keeping the Russians awake in Ukraine

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:

  • 18 high mobility missile launcher vehicles M-142 HIMARS.
  • 40 tactical missiles MGM-140 ATACMS.
  • 36 guided missiles M-31A2 GMLRS.
  • 36 guided missiles M-30A2 GMLRS Alternative Warhead
  • 40 training missiles Reduced-Range Practice Rocket (RRPR).
  • 18 automated field artillery control systems IFATDS.
  • 9 high mobility vehicles M-1152A1 HMMWV.
  • 18 resuply trucks M-1084A2 FMTV.
  • 3 trucks M-1089A2 FMTV.
  • 18 trucks M-1095 FMTV.
Two M-142 HIMARS missile launchers from the US Army's 41st Field Artillery Brigade during a June 2021 exercise in Morocco (Photo: U.S. Army).

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.

US Army M-142 HIMARS missile launcher during an exercise in Jordan (Photo: U.S. Army).

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.

A US Army M-142 HIMARS launching an M-57A1 ATACMS missile (Photo: U.S. Army).

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.

An M-142 HIMARS of the United States Marine Corps during a missile reload (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps).

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.

A Teruel multiple rocket launcher in 2010. The Spanish Army withdrew this weapons system in 2011 and since then it has lacked this capability (Photo: Outisnn).

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.

Don't miss the news and content that interest you. Receive the free daily newsletter in your email:

Opina sobre esta entrada:

Debes iniciar sesión para comentar. Pulsa aquí para iniciar sesión. Si aún no te has registrado, pulsa aquí para registrarte.