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Royal Moroccan Armed Forces
Royal Armed Forces القوات الملكية المغربية
Flag of the Royal Moroccan Army.svg
Active November, 1956 – present
Country  Morocco
Allegiance King of Morocco
Type Army
Size 175,000 regular (2011 est.)[1]
150,000 reserve (2011 est.)[1]
Part of Royal Moroccan Armed Forces
Equipment 1,215 m.b.t.'s, 2,253 i.f.v.'s & a.p.c.'s, 600 artillery
Engagements World War I
Rif War
Spanish Civil War
World War II
First Indochina War
Ifni War
Sand War
Six-Day War
Yom Kippur War
Gulf War
Western Sahara War
Operation Scorched Earth
SFOR
KFOR
MINUSTAH
MONUC
UNOCI
UNOSOM II
UNOSOM I
Operation Active Endeavour
ISAF Joint Command[2]
Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara
UNSMIS
Commanders
King of Morocco Mohammed VI of Morocco
Insignia
Army Insignia
Moroccan Armed Force.png

Moroccan troops in Italy, December 1943.

Zairian troops with a beret-wearing Moroccan military advisor (1977).

International coalition forces united against Saddam Hussein during Operation Desert Storm.

The Royal Moroccan Army, officially The Royal Army (Arabic language: الجيش الملكي‎, French language: l'Armée Royale, Spanish language: Ejército Real ) is the branch of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations.

The army is about 175,000 troops strong. In case of war or state of siege, an additional force of 150,000 Reservists, and paramilitary forces, including 20,000 regulars of the Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie, 25,000 Auxiliary Forces and 5,000 mobile intervention corps regulars come under the Ministry of Defence command.

Army forces from Morocco have taken part in different wars and battles during the twentieth century, from World War I, to the recent Operation Scorched Earth in Yemen.

History[]

The Moroccan army has existed continuously since the rising of Almoravid Empire in the 11th-century. During Colonisation and protectorates period (1912–1976), large numbers of Moroccans were recruited for service in the Spahi and Tirailleur regiments of the French Army of Africa. Many served during World War I. During World War II more than 300,000 Moroccan troops (including goumier auxiliaries) served with the Free French forces in North Africa, Italy, France and Austria. The two world conflicts saw Moroccan units earning the nickname of "Todesschwalben" (death swallows) by German soldiers as they showed particular toughness on the battlefield. After the end of World War II, Moroccan troops formed part of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps engaged in the First Indochina War from 1946 to 1954.

The Spanish Army also made extensive use of Moroccan troops recruited in the Spanish Protectorate, during both the Rif War of 1921-26 and the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. Moroccan Regulares, together with the Spanish Legion, made up Spain's elite Spanish Army of Africa. A para-military gendarmerie, known as the "Mehal-la Jalifianas" and modelled on the French goumieres, was employed within the Spanish Zone.

The Royal Armed Forces were created on 14 May 1956, after the French Protectorate was dissolved.[3] Fourteen thousand Moroccan personnel from the French Army and ten thousand from the Spanish Armed Forces transferred into the newly formed armed forces. This number was augmented by approximately 5,000 former guerrillas from the "Army of Liberation". About 2,000 French officers and NCOs remained in Morocco on short term contracts, until crash training programs at the military academies of St-Cyr, Toledo and Dar al Bayda produced sufficient numbers of Moroccan commissioned officers.

The first wars that Moroccan troops have taken part in the 20th-century as an independent country were the Ifni War and Sand War.

The Royal Moroccan Army fought during the Six-Day War and on the Golan front during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 (mostly in the battle for Quneitra) and intervened decisively in the 1977 conflict known as Shaba I to save Zaire's regime. The Armed Forces also took part in the Gulf War with a Mechanized Battalion and an infantry battalion in the Omar and Tariq Task Forces. But the Moroccan Armed Forces were mostly notable in fighting a 25-year asymmetric war against the POLISARIO, an Algerian backed rebel national liberation movement seeking the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco. (Western Sahara War)

Algeria, Morocco, and other Maghreb states affected by the GSPC insurgency have been assisted in fighting Islamist militants by the United States and the United Kingdom since 2007, when Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara began.

Forces today[]

US Marine and Moroccan soldiers took advantage of the opportunity to train with each other's weapons systems during exercise African Lion 2005 in Tan tan, Morocco.

Leapfest is an international event and included jump teams from Holland, Germany, Canada, Morocco and England, as well as teams from across the United States.

Situation and Equipment[]

From the beginning of 21st-century, the Moroccan army began a modernisation program that included the purchase of modern equipment and the transformation into a more professional army performing multiple exercises with allied's armies, as a Major non-NATO ally, member of the initiative 5+5 [4] and other cooperation agreements. The army's modernisation program took shape with the acquisitions of weapons such as the Chinese VT-1A and MRLS AR2, American M1A1 Abrams, the HAWK air defense system or the M109A5 Self-Propelled Howitzer.

the organisation and structure of command remained the same:

  • General Command HQ (Rabat
    • Northern Command (Meknes)
    • Southern Command (El Aaiún)

[5] Formations are 10 Independent Armored battalions (GEB), 3 Mechanized Brigades with 19 battalions (RIMZ), 35 Independent Infantry Battalions (BIS), 6 Light security Brigades, 2 Cavalry and 3 Camel Corps battalions (Meharis), 2 Paratroops Brigades (BIP), 2 Airborne battalions (BIAP), 4 Commando battalions and 13 Artillery battalions (GAR), Air defence is included in the Artillery structures and divisions.

Armored diviones are mostly deployed in eastern and southern provinces, all along Algerian border and Moroccan wall. More than 600 tanks are in service: 48 VT-1A, 148 T-72B and 427 M60A3/A3TTS Patton. Some M48 Pattons were retired from active service and stored as reserve with the 1991 cease-fire, the SK-105 Kürassiers had the same fate. In Addition, 200 ex-US refurbished and enhanced M1A1 Abrams are expected to be delivered in a period of 4 years, as the rest of Chinese tanks, to be delivered totally by 2012-13.

The mechanized brigades and Cavalries, equipped with Light Armored Carrier (LAVs), armored personnel carriers (APCs) or infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for transport, combat and reccon missions, are equipped with: 1,200 M113 in different variants (M113A1/A1-B/A2 APCs, M106A1/A2 mortar carriers, M163 VADS, M981 FISTV, M901A1, etc.), 60 Ratel 20/90, 395 VAB VCI/VTT, 110 ex-Belgian AIFV, 175 AML 90/60 and 110 AMX 10 RC. Other APCs are part of other corps as the Auxiliary's UR-416, or the recent purchase of 88 Lenco BearCat for the Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie[6]

The Artillery, gouped in GARs, includes Self-Propelled Howitzers, towed Howitzers, MRLS and Air Defense Systems, mortar carriers are part of the RIMZ. The equipment includes: 248 155mm M109 SPH in different versions, 60 203mm M110A2 SPH, received as EDA from USA, and 100 155mm Mk F3 remain in service. Note that only 155mm towed howitzers are deployed all along the Moroccan Wall, that includes 140 155mm (M198, FH-70, M-1950, M114), 18 130mm (M1954) and 54 105mm (M101 and L118) are deployed in different regions. 2 Battalions of MRLS are also listed as part of RMAs inventory, the first with 36 122mm BM-21 and the second with 36 300mm AR2.

Moroccan Anti-Aircraft Warfare have been based basically on Self Propelled Air Defense Systems, waiting the arrival of MIM-23 Hawk XXI HIMAD SAM. In its inventory we find 72 MIM-72 Chaparral, 12 Tunguska M1, 90 ZSU-23-4 and 115 M163 VADS, in addition of the K32 Strela-2 MANPADS. Other systems include AAG as M1939 (61-K), ZU-23-2 or M167 VADS, usually mounted on LUVs and CUCVs.

International projection[]

the Kingdom of Morocco is part of multiple international organisations, is a Major non-NATO ally, part of the Arab League, and has established military cooperations with different countries such as USA,[7] Russia,[8] Portugal,[9] Tunisia,[10] China,[11] Qatar,[12] Italy,[13] France,[14] Spain,[15] UAE [16] or Turkey.[17] As part of the UN, Moroccan Army participed in different Peacekeeping missions. Moroccan troops were sent as part of SFOR, KFOR, MINUSTAH or the more recent UNSMIS in Syria. It has also responded the call of its allies, taking part of conflicts such as Shaba I, Battle of Mogadishu (1993), the Gulf War or the Operation Scorched Earth, among others. Morocco has dispatched several field hospitals to conflict zones and areas affected by natural disasters, the latest contributions were at Libyan civil war,[18] the Syrian civil war.[19] and in the Gaza strip after Operation Pillar of Defense [20]

The Royal Moroccan Army also performs annual training exercise called "African Lion" with the United States Marine Corps. The exercise is a regularly scheduled, combined U.S. - Moroccan military exercise designed to promote improved interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques, procedures, unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations.[21]

Morocco has also been the venue for Exercise "Jebel Sahara" since September 2002, gathering elements from 33 Squadron, 230 Squadron, 18 Squadron, 27 Squadron, Joint Helicopter Force HQ from RAF Benson, 1st Battalion Royal Gibraltar Regiment and 2nd Brigade d'Infanterie Parachutiste of the Royal Moroccan Army. The aim of the Exercise was to increase the Support Helicopter warfighting capability in desert ‘hot and high' conditions and foster good relations between the UK and Morocco. To achieve this, the scenario consisted of a joint counter insurgency operation in the desert and mountain foothills to re-establish control and authority within a troubled region of North Africa.[22]

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment ran an exercise with the Moroccan 2e Brigade d'Infanterie Parachutiste (2e BIP) in late 2008.[23]

The Royal Armed Forces also take part of different international exercises as Leapfest [26], Flintlock [27], Blue Sand [28], and occasional military operations exercises with Belgium, U.A.E., Spain, France and others.

Ranks[]

Militaires du rang / Enlisted

Sous-officiers / non-commissioned officer

Officiers subalternes / Junior officers

Officiers supérieurs / Senior officers

Généraux / General officers

Equipment[]

Sources are the INSS Israel's Middle East Military Balance,[24] World Small Arms Inventory,[25] SIPRI Trade registres[26] and the The Military Balance in the Middle East by CSIS,[27] Army-Guide.

Infantry weapons[]

File:Moroccan soldier.jpg

Moroccan soldier during exercise Jebel Sahara

File:Moroccan soldiers during a military parade.jpg

Moroccan soldiers during a military parade.

Royal Moroccan Army honor platoon

Moroccan jeeps, armed with anti-tank weapons (UNOSOM II)

Handguns[]

  • MAB PA-15

Submachine guns[]

  • MP-5A3

Assault rifles[]

Sniper rifles[]

Machine Guns[]

coaxial Machine Guns and Automatic cannons[]

Automatic grenade launchers[]

Mortars[]

  • MO 60

Unguided Anti-tank weapons[]

  • LRAC 89

Anti-tank missiles[]

Utility vehicles[]

Moroccan soldiers pose for a photograph before participating in the final exercise with U.S. Marines assigned to 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment at Cap Draa, Morocco, April 25, 2007, during African Lion 2007.

M109A5 Howitzer from the Moroccan 15th Royal Artillery Group

M109A5 Howitzer Crews from the Moroccan 15th Royal Artillery Group.

Moroccan M60A3 during a 2006 Army expo

M163 VADS of the Royal Moroccan Army during a 2006 Army Expo

Model Type Quantity Notes
Light Utility Vehicles
HMMWV LUV 750
URO VAMTAC LUV 2,000 1,200 URO VAMTAC and 800 URO VAM-TL [29]
Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicles
GM Defense CUCVs 378 138 M1008 + 188 M1009 + 52 M1028
M151 MUTT CUCVs 278
Santana Motor CUCVs U/N Land RoverModel 88 and 106.
Toyota FJ40 CUCVs U/N
Jeep Auverland CUCVs U/N
Nissan Patrol ML-6 CUCVs U/N
ACMAT ALTV CUCVs U/N [30]

Logistics, Engineering and support vehicles[]

Model Type Quantity Notes
Armored recovery vehicles
M578 ARVs 86
SK-105 ARV ARVs 10
M88 Recovery Vehicle ARVs 28 18 M88A1 and 10 M88A2
Military engineering vehicles
M728 CEV CEV 6 [30]
Logistics
IVECO M3-21.14 TT family of trucks 250
Unimog family of trucks U/N
Mercedes-Benz Actros family of trucks U/N
M35 and Variants family of trucks ~3,500 88 M35A1 + ~2,000 M35A2 + 184 M35A2C + 635 M35A3 + 282 M36A2 + 112 M44A3 + 37M49A2C + 5 M50 + 6 M50A2 + 21 M50A3 + 275 M109A3 + 5 M185A3
M54 and variants family of trucks 387 60 M54A2 + 327 M52A2
M800 series family of trucks ~1,000 143 M813 + 283 M813A1 + 26 M814 + 460 M818 + 1 M819 + 72 M820 + 1 M820A1 + 34 M820A2 + 9 M821 / A1
M816 Wrecker family of trucks 195
M911 Heavy Equipment Transport System 133
IVECO TRACTOR family of trucks 100
M900 series family of trucks ~160 12 M915 + 4 M916A1 + 9 M920 + 16 M923 + 19 M923A1 + 4 M923A2 + 7 M925 + 7 M925A1 + 5 M925A2 + 18 M927 + 12 M927A1 + 8 M927A2 + 2 M928 + 3 M928A2 + 2 M931 + 3 M931A2 + 4 M932 A2/3 + 7 M934 EXP + 4 M932A2 + 2 M936
M1075 & M1076 Palletized load system 2 1 M1075 + 1 M1076
TRM10000/9000 BMH family of trucks 1000
Pegaso 3055 family of trucks U/N
M1070 Heavy Equipment Transport System 10
ACMAT family of trucks 600 VLRA long range Version

Tanks[]

Model Type Quantity Notes
M1A1SA 3rd Generation MBT 200 Special Armor Configuration. To be delivered.[31]
VT-1A 3rd Generation MBT 150 [32][33] 54 Received in 2011 [34]
T-72B/BK 2nd Generation MBT 148 136 T-72B and 12 T-72BK [35][36]
M60 Patton 2nd Generation MBT 427 260 M60A3TTS and 167 M60A3 [37][38][39]
M48 Patton 1st Generation MBT 185 185 M48A5
SK-105 Kürassier Light tank 105 Some retired from active service or stored.

APCs/IFVs/Suport vehicles[]

Model Type Quantity Notes
APCs/IFVs
[40]M113 APC ~1,300 330 M113A2
420 M113A1
13 M113A1-B
104 M901A1 Improved TOW Vehicle
115 M163 VADS Vulcan Air Defense System
38 M548A1 cargo carrier
163 M577A2 command vehicle (some upgraded to M1068 SICPS)
14 M981 FISTV Fire Support Team Vehicle
20 M125A1 Mortar carrier with 81 mm M29 mortar
36 M106A1/A2 Mortar Carrier with 107 mm M30 mortar
73 M730 launcher for the MIM-72 Chaparral
30 M113 AMEV armored ambulance
(See: Variants of the M113 armored personnel carrier)
Some M113 were indigenously fitted with a ZPU 2-14.5 Anti-Aircraft Gun, and others equipped with a TOW launcher mounted on a tripod on top of the vehicle.
Ratel IFV IFV 60 30 Ratel 20 + 30 Ratel 90
VAB VCI/VTT APC 395 75 VAB VCI+ 320 VAB VTT. 140 To be upgraded
AIFV IFV 110 19 AIFV-B-.50 + 90 AIFV-B-C25 + 1 AIFV-B-CP
AML 60/90 LAV 195 140 AML-90, 20 AML-90 Lynx 35 AML-60
Eland-20/90 LAV 60 [41]
Tank destroyers
AMX 10 RC Tank destroyer 110
M901A1 Tank destroyer 23

Artillery[]

Model Type Quantity Notes
Self-Propelled Howitzer
203mm M110A2 Self-Propelled Artillery 60
155mm Mk F3 Self-Propelled Artillery 100 on upgrade
155mm M109 Self-Propelled Artillery 248 44 M-109A1B, 43 M109A2 (Ex-Belgium), 40 M-109L47 (ex-Switzerland), 60 M109A5, and 35 M109A2, 22 M109A3, 4 M109A4 from EDA 2011 [31]
155mm 2S19M1 MSTA-S Self-Propelled Artillery U/N [42][43]
Towed Howitzer
155mm M198 Howitzer 35
155mm FH-70 Howitzer 30
155mm M-1950 Howitzer 35
155mm M114 Howitzer 20
105mm L118 Howitzer 36 upgraded
130mm M1954 Howitzer 18
105mm M101 Howitzer 18
Multiple rocket launcher
122mm BM-21 MRLS 36
PHL03/AR2 MRLS 36 [44][45]
Mortar carriers
M106A2 Mortar carrier 32

Air Defense Systems[]

Model Type Quantity Notes
Surface-to-air missiles
MIM-23 Hawk XXI HIMAD SAM 36 to be delivered [32]
9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS 72
Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapons
MIM-72 Chaparral SPAD 72
Tunguska M1 SPAD 12
ZSU-23-4 SPAAG 90
M163 SPAAG 115
anti-aircraft guns
Type 90 anti-aircraft gun 100
ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun 90
M167 VADS anti-aircraft gun 40

Radars[]

Model Type Quantity Notes
AN/TPS-70 Air Radar U/N
AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel Air radar 8 [46]
AN/TPS-43 Air radar 8
AN/TPS-63 Air radar 8 to be upgraded to TPS-63M (+250%)
MSSR Air radar U/N
RATAC Ground radar 12
BOR-A 550 Ground radar U/N
RASIT Ground radar U/N
AN/PPS-5A Ground radar U/N
Stentor battlefield radar Ground radar U/N
AN/MPQ-61 Air radar 9 [33]
AN/MPQ-57 Air radar 3 [34]
AN/MPQ-55 Air radar 9 [35]
AN/MPQ-62 Air radar 3 [36]
AN/MPQ-49 Air radar U/N
ARSS-1 Ground radar 12 [37]
AN/TPS-79 Air radar 3 [38]
Ground Master 403 Air radar 3 Potential purchase of 12, 15 or 18 units [47]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "INSS Military Balance Files - Morocco". Institute for National Security Studies. 30 August 2011. p. 5. http://www.inss.org.il/upload/%28FILE%291314707011.pdf. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  2. ISAF Joint Command | ISAF - International Security Assistance Force
  3. Ministère de l'Équipement et du Transport du Maroc
  4. On 21 December 2004 the Ministers of Defence from Algeria, Spain, France, Italy, Libya, Morocco, Mauretania, Portugal and Tunisia signed a Declaration of Intentions in order to create a new Mediterranean security initiative, restricted to the western part of the Mediterranean basin, called the 5+5 Initiative.[1]
  5. Please be advised that despite the seeming precision of this order of Battle, the kingdom of Morocco maintains the real Orbat as a classified information. The info used in this wiki has been taked from Orbat and INSS reports
  6. [2]
  7. The U.S. cooperation program in Morocco is a model for the region and is an important aspect of on-going regional multilateral security cooperation activities, including peacekeeping operations. Requested FY 2010 funding will allow the U.S. to meet a target of assisting Moroccan military personnel participation in 50 exercises with U.S. or coalition forces.[3]
  8. In Moscow, the signing of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco on cooperation in military field [4]
  9. No que se refere ao objetivo 3, em 2011, foram realizadas 13 atividades com Marrocos [5]
  10. Tunisie-Maroc. L’impératif d’impulser davantage la coopération militaire (Fr)[6]
  11. Les entretiens entre les deux responsables militaires ont porté sur la coopération militaire entre les deux pays et les possibilités de la développer, précise la même source. (fr) [7]
  12. Le Maroc et le Qatar ont signé, mardi à Rabat, un accord de coopération dans le domaine militaire, axé sur la formation, les technologies et les sciences.[8]
  13. Un accord de coopération militaire italo-marocain ratifié à l'unanimité par le Sénat italien [9]
  14. Ce déplacement a permis d’aborder les nouvelles perspectives de coopération dans les domaines suivants : la gestion des ressources humaines, la sécurité des systèmes d’information, la reconversion professionnelle des militaires, les achats et la gestion financière par programmes, et le développement durable dans la gestion patrimoniale.[10]
  15. La commission mixte maroco-espagnole se réunit tous les deux ans, de manière alternative, en Espagne et au Maroc. Elle s'inscrit dans le contexte de la coopération militaire bilatérale et contribue à consolider et promouvoir les liens de partenariat des deux forces armées, rappelle le communiqué.[11]
  16. [12]
  17. The two countries are exploring signing a formal memorandum of understanding on military cooperation. [13]
  18. Morocco Sends Humanitarian Assistance to Refugees At the Libyan Border
  19. Morocco had also provided urgent medical aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan, in cooperation with that country’s Government and through UNHCR [14]
  20. Morocco announced on Sunday it will set up a field hospital in the Gaza Strip to help Palestinians injured in Israeli air strikes, which the king described as "military aggression" in a statement.[15]
  21. U.S. Marine Corps, Search Results:
  22. [16]
  23. 'African Adventure,' Air International, January 2009, p.58
  24. http://www.inss.org.il/upload/%28FILE%291311071599.pdf
  25. wiw_af_morocco - worldinventory
  26. Trade Registers
  27. The Military Balance in the Middle East - February 19, 2004
  28. Kornet E Anti-Armour Missile - Army Technology
  29. KBP Metis M/ M1 AT Guided Missile
  30. 2005 Excess Defence Articles for Morocco
  31. The Government of the Kingdom of Morocco has requested a possible enhancement and refurbishment of 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks, provided as part of a grant Excess Defense Article(EDA) transfer notified to Congress on 27 April 2011, to the M1A1 Special Armor (SA) configuration [17]
  32. [18]
  33. "The acquisition of the US and Chinese tanks will allow Morocco to retire much of its existing tank fleet" Janes Defence Weekly 2012/06/20
  34. UN Register of Conventional Arms
  35. 1999: 30 T-72B 2000: 58 T-72B & 12 T-72BK
  36. 48 upgraded T-72 tanks and a large number of spare parts supplied to Morocco, from Belarus, according to the Russian military news agency referring to the directorate of the 140th tank repair factory in Borisov [19]
  37. 300 Ex-US M60A1 from 1991 to 1994 and 120 M60A3TTS and 7 M60A1 in 1997
  38. "Morocco's M60A1 tanks were upgraded to M60A3's as these became available." [20]
  39. 140 Upgraded to M60A3TTS in 2009 Source: Army-guide
  40. [21]
  41. [22]
  42. Recently, Russia has delivered to Morocco a batch of Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, he said.[23]
  43. Russia has delivered to Morocco a batch of Msta-S self-propelled howitzers [24]
  44. After Type 05 MLRS (the export version called AR2) officially entered service in the PLA artillery forces, China signed with Morocco the contract of providing one battalion of AR2 Kanwa Daily News
  45. United Nations Register of Conventional Arms
  46. http://www.dsca.osd.mil/pressreleases/36-b/2011/Morocco_11-07.pdf
  47. In North Africa, TRS has sold three radars to Morocco, which is renewing its air control facilities, and there is potential for further sales of 12, 15 or 18 units, a defense expert said.[25]

49. ^ http://www.alm-acmat.com/article-eurosatory-2012-acmat-etoffe-son-offre-106684216.html

Further reading[]

  • Anthony Cordesman, 'A Tragedy of Arms'


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