U.S. Approves Sale of AGM-84L Harpoon Air Launched Block II Missiles to Morocco

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched anti-ship missiles to Morocco for an estimated cost of $62 million.

The sale is being conducted through the U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS) program. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 14.

The Government of Morocco has earlier requested to buy ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II Air Launched missiles. Also included are containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The prime contractor of the possible sale will be The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Missouri.

Harpoon Block II is an all-weather over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile (ASHM) manufactured by Boeing Defence, Space & Security. It is one of the world’s most advanced anti-ship missiles capable of performing both land-strike and anti-ship missions.

There are variants of the Harpoon missile that can be launched from aerial platforms, surface ships, submarines, and coastal defense batteries. Unlike other variants, the air-launched version (AGM-84) is not equipped with a solid-fuel rocket booster.

AGM-84 Harpoon missile on F-16
Air to air view of an AGM-84 Harpoon all-weather anti-ship missile on a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, tail #353. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Morocco will use the Harpoon air-launched anti-ship missiles on the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) F-16 multi-role fighter aircraft. The new missiles will enhance RMAF F-16’s capabilities in effective defense of critical sea-lanes.

Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16 Block 52+
A Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16 Block 52+ fighter aircraft prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 191st Air Refueling Squadron, during Exercise African Lion April 20, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield)

Excerpt from DSCA statement:

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa.

The proposed sale of the missiles and support will increase the Moroccan Air Force’s maritime partnership potential and align its capabilities with existing regional baselines. Morocco intends to use the missiles on its F-16, multi-role fighter aircraft to enhance its capabilities in effective defense of critical sea-lanes. Morocco will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and services will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

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