The Israeli “Jerusalem Post” online newspaper reported that the Kingdom of Morocco is interested in purchasing the Barak-8 anti-aircraft missile defense system, which is produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
IAI is said to be negotiating to sell the system to Morocco. The team leading the negotiations will be led by the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Cesarone Peyton. The Israeli company refused to indicate this information, so it is not known at what stage possible negotiations can be reached. It could be a different version of the Barak regime.
Today, the anti-aircraft defense of the Royal Moroccan Land Forces uses several missile systems from various sources, including: FD-2000B (an export version of the Chinese HQ-9) and Sky Dragon 50 (People’s Republic of China); MIM-104 Patriot, MIM-23 HAWK XXI, and MIM-72 Chaparral (US); VL MICA (France), as well as artillery and rocket artillery groups: M163 VADS (USA); ZU-23-2, ZSU-23-4, 2K22M1 Tunguska M1 (USSR / Russian Federation) and Type 90 (People’s Republic of China). Much of this equipment is obsolete, and the purchase of a modern short-range air defense system would help Moroccan ground forces bridge the gap below the relatively recent medium-range ground. Unless there are any unforeseen difficulties, the purchase is highly probable, because Morocco is constantly increasing its defense budget – only in 2022 the government in Rabat plans to spend about $ 12.8 billion on arms purchases, repair and maintenance.
Barak-8 was already used in combat by Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Apart from Azerbaijan, it is also used in India (land and ship types) and Israel (ship types). In the ground configuration, the system can effectively fight air targets at a distance of 50 x 70 km from the launcher, and when using an ER missile, up to 150 km.
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