Morocco to Buy Electro-Optical Sensors Directly from Canada for its Turkish Drone

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Morocco is acquiring electro-optical systems from Canada to equip them on Turkish-made drones it soon plans to buy.

On April 18, Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces (Far-Maroc) said it signed a contract to buy 13 Bayraktar TB2 combat drones for 626 million Moroccan dirhams ($70 million). This deal reportedly covers four remote control ground stations, a configurable simulation system for flying the drones, and a digital system for tracking and storing information.

A drone operation center will also be set up at a Moroccan airbase.

Bayraktar TB2s come fitted with WESCAM cameras, electro-optic systems, imaging and targeting systems manufactured by L3Harris Wescam, the Canada-based unit of L3Harris Technologies Inc.

Canada suspended export of drone technology to Turkey in early April after it found that some of the Canadian-made systems had been used by the Azerbaijani side in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as in Syria.

As per a C4Defence report, Morocco is now planning to source the Canadian products directly, forgoing embargo imposed on Turkey.

Ottawa had first suspended export licenses in 2019 during Turkish military incursion into northeastern Syria. Restrictions were then eased but re-imposed during the Nagorno-Karabakh war in October 2020.