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Israel’s BlueBird to open drone factory in Morocco

April 16, 2024 at 3:40 pm

Israeli soldiers are deployed at Erez border with heavy weapons and military vehicles in Erez, Israel on February 29, 2024. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

BlueBird Aero Systems, an Israeli company specialising in the design and production of Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), is set to establish a drone production facility in Morocco. In a recent report by Argentinian military news website Zona Militar, Ronen Nadir, CEO of BlueBird Aero Systems, confirmed the company’s plans, stating that the local production site is scheduled to commence operations in the near future.

The decision to open the production facility aligns with the military cooperation agreement signed between Morocco and Israel in 2021, which included provisions for the development of Morocco’s military industry with Israeli expertise.

As part of its commitment to boost the sector, Morocco allocated $12.88 billion (approximately MAD 124.7 billion) to its defence industry this year.

In February last year, Rabat and Tel Aviv concluded a $500 million deal to provide the kingdom with the Barak MX air and missile defence system manufactured by Israel aerospace industries (IAI).  Morocco also purchased the Skylock Dome anti-drone system from Israel in 2021.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israel is one of the top three largest arms exporters to Morocco, accounting for 11 per cent of the North African country’s arms imports.

Morocco resumed diplomatic ties with Israel under the US-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020. However, even prior to the normalisation agreement, Israel and Morocco maintained undisclosed “special defence relations.”

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