First four F-16s depart for Morocco

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:54

The first four of 24 new Lockheed Martin Block 52 F-16s for the Royal Moroccan Air Force have left the factory in Fort Worth, Texas, for Morocco, where they will arrive later this week.

Lockheed Martin on Monday said the four jets had departed for Ben Guerir Air Base, which is a former US air base located about 36 miles (57 km) north of Marrakech and once used as a transatlantic abort landing site for the Space Shuttle. It is currently undergoing upgrades that, according to Moroccan officials, are modelled after US Air Force bases.

The first batch of Moroccan F-16 pilots finished their 15 month training course in the United States in June. The US Air National Guard said that four Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) officers, who are former Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter pilots, concluded their instruction at the 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport in Arizona. The unit is the international Lockheed Martin F-16 training unit and has provided training to some of the 25 countries around the world that have bought the F-16.

« We are modernizing our fleet and we’ve chosen the F-16, not only because it is a high-quality airplane, but also because of the close relationship we have with the United States, » said Deputy Inspector of the Royal Moroccan Air Force, Brigadier General Abdelali Houari.

As students, the pilots averaged three sorties per week and accumulated more than 150 F-16 hours each. Once home, they will not only be responsible for training others, but will also be instrumental in standing up F-16 operations at Ben Guerir Air Base.

Six other Moroccan pilots are currently in the basic F-16 course in Tucson with graduation planned for September.

Morocco is in the process of upgrading its armed forces and is buying large amounts of military equipment, including fighters, trainer aircraft and frigates. As almost all significant combat equipment was acquired between 1978 and 1981, Morocco is moving ahead with an upgrade programme for its Mirage F1s and is also engaged in the acquisition of new equipment that will ensure the air arm remains credible and effective. The most important type is the F-16, which was designed to keep up with Algeria’s purchase in 2007-2008 of 28 Su-30MKAs. The RMAF signed the US$842 million contract in December 2009 for the Block 52 F-16s.

The RMAF has around 60 warplanes and a substantial number of helicopters that are able to undertake combat operations as well as performing general support tasks. The air force’s inventory is being upgraded and swelled by new purchases, such as four Alenia Aeronautica C-27J Spartan transport aircraft.

Meanwhile, in May Hawker Beechcraft announced it had delivered 12 of 24 T-6C turboprop trainers to the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF). The T-6C is an improved version of the T-6B Texan II featuring key upgrades such as an integrated glass cockpit, advanced avionics suite and wing hard-points that can accommodate auxiliary fuel tanks or bombs. The RMAF ordered the airplanes under a US$185.3 million contract announced in September 2009. The T-6C is replacing the turboprop Beechcraft T-34 Mentor and Cessna T-37 Tweet jet trainers in RMAF service.

Source: defenceWeb.co.za

Morocco – Sentinel AN/MPQ-64F1 Radars

WASHINGTON

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Thursday of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Morocco of eight AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radars, and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $67 million.

The Government of Morocco has requested a possible sale 8 AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radars, 8 AN/VRC-92E Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) Vehicular Dual Long-Range System Radios, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), Sentinel Software, 8 Sentinel M1152 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)s, HMMWV support equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. The estimated cost is $67 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by supporting Morocco’s legitimate need for its own self-defense. Morocco is one of the most stable and pro-Western of the Arab states, and the U.S. remains committed to a long-term relationship with Morocco.

The Government of Morocco is modernizing its armed forces and expanding its air defense architecture to counter threats posed by air attack. The proposed sale of Sentinel Radars will greatly enhance Morocco’s interoperability with the U.S. and other NATO nations, making it a more valuable partner in an increasingly important area of the world.

The proposed sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be Thales Raytheon Systems in Fullerton, California, International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and American General in South Bend, Indiana. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require travel of up to 10 U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Morocco for a period of 8 weeks for equipment checkout and training.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency

Essais en mer réussis pour la première corvette marocaine du type SIGMA

31/05/2011

 

Le groupe néerlandais Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding a annoncé que les essais en mer de la première corvette du type SIGMA commandée par le Maroc avaient été couronnés de succès. Le bâtiment avait quitté Flessingue le 6 mai pour une campagne de deux semaines en mer du Nord. A cette occasion, de nombreux essais ont été menés sur la plateforme, les systèmes d’armes, les senseurs et les communications. La corvette est retournée le 20 mai au port, afin que soient entrepris les travaux d’achèvement en vue de sa prochaine livraison. Appelée frégate multi-missions (FMMM) par DSNS et la marine marocaine, ce bâtiment mesure 105 mètres de long et affichera un déplacement de 2335 tonnes en charge. Capable d’embarquer 110 personnes et d’atteindre la vitesse de 26 noeuds, il mettra en oeuvre quatre missiles antinavire Exocet MM40, un système surface-air à courte portée VL Mica, un canon de 76mm, deux canons de 20mm et deux tubes pour torpilles MU90. Un hangar permet d’embarquer un hélicoptère de 5 tonnes, la plateforme pouvant quant à elle accueillir une machine de plus de 9 tonnes.
Deux autres unités du type SIGMA, légèrement plus petites (97.9 mètres et 2075 tpc) ont également été commandées. La première doit réaliser ses essais en mer d’ici la fin de l’année alors que la seconde doit être mise à flot au mois de septembre.
Source: Mer et Marine

La marine royale marocaine se refait une santé en Espagne

Posté le : 1 juin, 2011

Le Maroc change son fusil d’épaule. Alors que les plus gros contrats économiques sont d’habitude octroyés aux entreprises françaises, ce qui irrite fortement les Espagnols, la visite du Roi Juan Carlos à Marrakech a eu un effet bénéfique sur les entreprises espagnoles. Côté armement, les autorités marocaines ont décidé d’envoyer aux chantiers navals d’Algésiras, une dizaine de patrouilleurs de la marine royale pour y effectuer une révision complète. La seule corvette dont dispose la marine chérifienne, Lieutenant colonel Errahmani (Classe Descubierta), un bâtiment de fabrication espagnole acquis en 1982, devrait elle aussi être envoyée  aux chantiers navals de Cadix afin de subir une révision de fond. L’armée de terre marocaine devrait elle aussi reprendre ses contrats avec les constructeurs espagnols de véhicules de transport de troupe et des blindés de reconnaissance terrestre. Mais cette éclaircie dans les relations Maroco-espagnoles ne profite pas qu’au volet militaire. La filiale du mastodonte Ferrovial, Cadagua, a été sélectionnée par l’OCP pour la construction au port de Jorf Lasfar -100 kilomètres au Sud de Casablanca- d’une usine de dessalement de l’eau de mer d’une valeur de 60 millions d’euros. Cette usine aura, au départ, une capacité de traitement de 75.880 mètres cubes par jour avant d’être portée par la suite, à 220 mille mètres cubes par jour.

Source: maghreb-intelligence.com

Morocco takes delivery of first 12 T-6C military trainers

The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) has received the first 12 of 24 T-6C trainers from Hawker Beechcraft. The RMAF is replacing its existing fleet of T-34 and T-37 jet trainers

“We are pleased to have delivered the first 12 aircraft to the RMAF, our initial international customer for the T-6C,” said Jim Maslowski, HBC president, U.S. and International Government Business. “The new T-6Cs will greatly improve the level and effectiveness of the RMAF’s training. They replicate systems and capabilities consistent with modern front-line strike fighter aircraft and are more economical to operate than the previous generation of trainers.”

In addition to the aircraft, the  government-to-governmet contract includes aircraft ferry services, site survey, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, facility infrastructure support, personnel training and training equipment, and other related elements of technical and logistics support.

The T-6C features hard-point wings, an integrated glass cockpit and the advanced Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite that greatly expands advanced training opportunities. The systems are integrated with a Hands-On Throttle and Stick, providing the student pilot and instructor with an easy interface to the digital cockpit. The CMC Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is the first in its class to incorporate a fully integrated and FAA-certified dual FMS/GPS navigation suite that meets the strictest required navigation performance standards of current and future national and worldwide airspace equipment requirements. The open architecture design of the Cockpit 4000 provides the flexibility to expand capabilities and continuously meet current and future training needs.

Source: arabianaerospace.aero

Morocco – AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Missiles

WASHINGTON — On May 17, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Morocco of 20 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder missiles, as well as associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $50 million.

The Government of Morocco has requested a possible sale of 20 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Missiles, 10 CATM-9X-2 Captive Air Training Missiles All-Up-Round Block II Missiles, 8 CATM-9X-2 Block II Missile Guidance Units, and 8 AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical Guidance Units, 2 Dummy Air Training Missiles, containers, missile support and test equipment, provisioning, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support.

The estimated cost is $50 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by supporting Morocco’s legitimate need for its own self-defense. Morocco is one of the most stable and pro-Western of the Arab states, and the U.S. remains committed to a long-term relationship with Morocco.

The Royal Moroccan Air Force is modernizing its fighter aircraft to better support its own air defense needs.

The proposed sale of AIM-9X missiles will greatly enhance Morocco’s interoperability with the U.S. and other NATO nations, making it a more valuable partner in an increasingly important area of the world.

The proposed sale of this weapon system will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems Company in Tucson, Arizona. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require travel of U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Morocco on a temporary basis for program technical support and management oversight.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency

La première SIGMA marocaine mène ses essais d’acceptation

13/05/2011
Le groupe néerlandais Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding a annoncé que la première des trois corvettes du type SGMA commandées par le Maroc avait appareillé de Flessingue le 6 mai pour ses essais d’acceptation à la mer. Cette campagne, comprenant de nombreux tests, vise à démontrer que le bâtiment et ses équipements correspondent aux attentes du client. Le navire, appelé non pas corvette mais frégate multi-missions par la marine marocaine et DSNS, mesure 105 mètres de long pour 13 mètres de large. Affichant un déplacement de 2335 tonnes en charge, il peut accueillir jusqu’à 110 personnes. La propulsion, assurée par deux moteurs diesels d’une puissance unitaire de 8910 kW, permet d’atteindre une vitesse de 26 noeuds et de franchir 4000 nautiques à 18 noeuds. L’électronique comprend notamment un système de combat Tacticos, un radar tridimensionnel Smart-S Mk2, un sonar de coque Kingklip et une conduite de tir Lirod Mk2, ainsi qu’un ensemble de contre-mesures comprenant des systèmes Vigile 100 (ESM) et Scorpion (ECM), plus deux lance-leurres SKWS.
L’armement est constitué de quatre missiles antinavire Exocet MM40, un système surface-air à courte portée VL Mica, un canon de 76mm, deux canons de 20mm et deux tubes pour torpilles MU90. Un hangar permet d’embarquer un hélicoptère de 5 tonnes, la plateforme pouvant quant à elle accueillir une machine de plus de 9 tonnes.
Le programme FMMM (frégates multi-missions marocaines) comprend deux autres unités du type SIGMA dotées des mêmes équipements que la tête de série mais dont les dimensions sont moins importantes. Ces bâtiments de 97.9 et 2075 tpc pourront embarquer 91 hommes.
Lancé en février dernier, le premier réalisera ses essais en mer avant la fin de l’année. Quant à son sistership, il devrait être lancé en septembre prochain.
Source: Mer et Marine

Armement: la Russie et le Maroc signeront deux accords

MOSCOU, 1er mars – RIA Novosti

La Russie et le Maroc signeront deux accords de coopération technique et militaire, a annoncé mardi l’ambassadeur du Royaume du Maroc à Moscou Abdelkader Lecheheb lors d’une conférence de presse organisée par RIA Novosti.

« Actuellement, nous entendons signer avec la Russie deux accords de coopération technique et militaire. Un accord est déjà prêt à être signé, le deuxième se trouvant au stade final de sa préparation », a indiqué le diplomate.

« Ces dernières années, le Maroc a acheté plusieurs armements russes. Je ne voudrais pas dévoiler le détail des prochains accords, puisque les négociations continuent. Dès que les documents sont prêts, une information concernant les volumes des livraisons, leur prix et les armes achetées sera annoncée, j’en suis certain », a-t-il ajouté.

Successful Launch of Second Multi Mission Frigate for the Royal Moroccan Navy

At Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen, on February 2, the second Multi-Mission Frigate under construction for the Royal Moroccan Navy, was rolled out of the assembly hall.

The 98 metre long ship has been constructed entirely on land at the DSNS yard at Vlissingen-East and is now ready, on schedule, to be completed at the Vlissingen-City shipyard.

Heavy Lifting and Transport company Mammoet Europe B.V., moved the 1700 ton vessel from the assembly hall to the pontoon after which the ship was launched.

The frigate was then be towed by tug boats to Vlissingen-City where it will be completed.

At this moment three Moroccan frigates are under construction at the DSNS yard in Vlissingen.

The first frigate of 105 metre was successfully launched in July 2010. The third frigate for the Royal Moroccan Navy, also 98 metres long, is planned to be launched at the end of this year.

Publication date: 04-2-2011

Hawker Beechcraft livre un premier lot des 24 avions T-6C commandés par les Forces Royales Air

Jeudi 17 Février 2011

Les Forces Armées Royales alimentent leur flotte aérienne par 24 nouveaux avions de type T-6C, et ce pour remplacer les avions T-37 vieux d’une cinquantaine d’années.

Il s’agit d’avions d’entraînement, produits par le fabricant américain Hawker Beechcraft, et présentant un modèle avancé des avions pilotés par les Forces aériennes américaines (US Air Force), ainsi que la marine américaine pour la formation des élèves pilotes.

Pour la livraison du premier lot de cette commande, un premier lot composé de 4 avions, deux hauts responsables des forces aériennes américaines étaient, dernièrement, à la base aérienne de Marrakech. Il s’agit du sous-secrétaires des forces aériennes américaines pour les affaires internationales Heidi Grant et du Général-Major H.D. Polumbo, le représentant du commandement militaire américain pour l’Afrique.

Les FAR qui assurent une formation aérienne au profit de plusieurs pays africains, profiteront de cette modernisation de leur flotte pour la formation de leurs aviateurs.

Source: aeronautique.ma