IAI Signs $1B Spy Satellite Deal With Morocco

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the country’s state-owned and largest defense firm, has reportedly signed a $1 billion deal with Morocco to provide the North African nation with a spy satellite. 

The Israeli media says IAI Chairman Amir Peretz visited Morocco in recent days to sign the agreement, which a French outlet reports was actually secretly reached late last year as part of Moroccan plans to boost its military defense capabilities. 

The satellite is reportedly set to be delivered by 2029 and will replace the two Airbus satellites that Morocco currently uses.  

The two nations signed a defense agreement in November 2021, having formally normalized ties the previous December as part of the Abraham Accords between Israel and several Muslim states. And in May 2023, IAI announced plans for a center for aeronautics and AI research and innovation at the International University of Rabat.

Ynet says that while not naming the purchasing country, IAI reported the sale to Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, where it is listed. The company also committed to providing the buyer with guarantees for reaching milestones in the production of the satellite. 

According to Calcalist, defense sources said that Moroccan-born Peretz advanced the deal through his connections to senior officials in the country.  

IAI told Calcalist that “the company does not comment on reports about its transactions and does not provide information about trips made by the chairman.”

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