The Moroccan government is reportedly considering purchasing the Barak 8 missile system from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to improve its air defense.
According to a report by news outlet Israel Defense, negotiations for the Barak 8 missiles began when Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the African nation to sign a security agreement.
IAI marketing director Sharon Bitton reportedly led the negotiations for the missile system, basing the company’s proposal on the Moroccan defense budget for 2022, which allocates $12.8 billion to purchase and repair high-powered military equipment.
In addition to the Barak 8 missiles, Morocco is also acquiring Israeli-made drones valued at around $22 million.
The Barak 8 Missile System
The Barak 8 is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system capable of neutralizing aerial threats, including enemy combat jets, missiles, helicopters, and drones at up to 70 kilometers (43 miles).
Powered by a locally-developed rocket engine, the weapon system can hit multiple targets simultaneously, even in adverse weather conditions. It is also equipped with a control system for improved maneuverability.
With a maximum speed of Mach 2, the Barak 8 carries a 60-kilogram (132-pound) warhead that detonates close to its target.