Morocco’s recently purchased Airbus Space Systems range satellites will be launched on 8 November and again in 2018 in Kourou, French Guiana.
A contract for the sale of two Pléiades observation satellites from France was signed last year in Morocco and will reportedly cost around $600 million, according to Spanish daily El Pais.
The satellites will reportedly allow Morocco to fight illegal immigration, smuggling, terror groups in the Sahel like Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and also monitor the presence of pirates who operate in the Gulf of Guinea.
In addition, the devices will also allow Morocco to obtain information on military installations and troop movements of its neighbours Spain, Algeria or the Polisario Front in the contested Western Sahara.
With the commissioning of this first “spy” satellite, Morocco will become the second country in the continent to be endowed with such a military capability after Egypt, giving it a strategic advantage which Spain is concerned about, according to El Pais.