Morocco has procured at least 150 drones from Israeli firm BlueBird Aero Systems to support various military missions.
The acquisition comes after the two countries signed a military agreement in 2021 upon reestablishing diplomatic relations.
According to local media outlets, Rabat purchased the WanderB and ThunderB vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft to bolster its air defense capabilities, TheDefensePost reported.
The drones will perform reconnaissance, surveillance, air defense, and emergency missions.
BlueBird Aero Systems said on its Website: “We are proud to be the selected supplier of UAV systems to the Moroccan Army who purchased dozens of systems of WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL, that are already operational, in missions of ISTAR, border security, law enforcement, convoy and armed forces protection and artillery support.”
Although the deal’s total value was not disclosed, sources said it reached “tens of millions of dollars.”
A portion of the unmanned systems will reportedly be built in Morocco.
According to BlueBird Aero Systems, the WanderB VTOL is a long-range aircraft that can take off and land without a runway.
It has a low noise level due to its electric motors, making it suitable for covert military operations.
The WanderB drone boasts an endurance of 2.5 hours and a communication range of up to 50 kilometers (31 miles).
“The drone has a maximum takeoff weight of 13 kilos, of which five correspond to the batteries and one and a half to the payload, which can be day or night cameras,” Spanish news outlet Infodron reported.
The ThunderB is described as a “robust, innovative, and versatile” system that can be used for long-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.
It can reach targets up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) away and remain aloft more than 12 hours.