October 3, 2022

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Despite the sharp decline, Morocco remains the first customer in the Maghreb

to meSales peaked at 11.7 billion euros, “France sets its third highest historical level in terms of arms exports”. By providing Parliament with its servicesAnnual report on French arms exportsSebastien Licornu, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, did not hesitate to praise France’s post-Covid performance.

Before the first closed-door hearing, scheduled for September 27, of the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, we learned that in 2021, France managed to climb to third place on the platform of arms exporters in the world, just behind the United States. countries and Russia. A successful performance thanks to the tripling of exports in 2020, which amounted to 4.8 billion euros but still below the levels of 2015 (16.9 billion) and 2016 (13.9 billion).

Moroccan orders at half mast

With an impressive order of 3.75 billion for 30 Dassault Rafales, 200 million ammunition from arms manufacturer MBDA and Thales radars, Egypt is by far the largest customer of the French military industry. The purchases that place it in the rank of the first customer for France in the world, in Africa and even in the Arab world (in front of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Morocco is in the base of small contracts (less than 200 million euros), and it appears that it has significantly reduced the volume of its orders from France. Cited among the six countries to have acquired 273 Caesar artillery systems exported by the world’s manufacturer Nexter, the Kingdom only received a total of €95.2 million in arms from France in 2021. This volume is far from the purchase records For the Kingdom in 2020 (425.9 million euros) or until 2013 (548.9 million).

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Perhaps this drop in Moroccan payrolls in the French order books can be explained by the prominence of US-manufactured equipment in the Royal Army’s arsenal. With a military budget of more than 50 billion dirhams, Morocco has also pursued a policy of diversifying its suppliers, especially with China or the turkey. As part of its army equipment modernization plan that began in 2012, it is also necessary to take supplies from Israel.

Expecting a boost in 2022?

Nevertheless, Morocco remains France’s main client in the Maghreb. Thus, it is ahead of Algeria (13.9 million euros) or Tunisia (2.4 million euros). At the continental level, Morocco is France’s third largest customer, after Egypt and Nigeria (17 million) but ahead of Côte d’Ivoire (7.2 million) and South Africa (1.7 million).

2022 could be the key factor for French industry. To the 80 Rafale ordered by the United Arab Emirates, Dassault can add projected sales for Greece and other Asian countries. ” It is already certain that 2022 will be marked by significant resultsSebastien Licornu welcomes the report sent to Parliament.

France is also counting on a Moroccan request in 2022. A kingdom wanting to supply the navy with ocean patrol boats will be at a loss. Kership, a joint naval engineering project between Piriou and Naval, as well as Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), is supplying the kingdom with multi-mission ships dedicated to coastal surveillance and anti-submarine warfare. Enough to give a new boost to Moroccan orders at half mast.