Morocco takes delivery of Chinese FD-2000B surface-to-air defense missile systems
According to information published by the Bladi.net website on December 18, 2021, Morocco has taken delivery of the first batteries of Chinese-made FD-2000B surface-to-air defense missile systems at a military base near the city Sidi Yahya El Gharb.
The Moroccan defense budget was increased by 4% for the purchase of defense equipment in 2021. The Moroccan military’s modernization focus can be seen through its 2030 Modernization plan, established in 2017 and launched in 2020, which outlines the country’s stated goal of being interoperable with the United States and NATO, by modernizing the equipment of its army, air force, and navy.
The Moroccan military is both large and committed to modernization efforts. It consists of 235,000 active personnel and an additional 250,000 reserves, divided between the army, which accounts for 88% of the armed forces, the navy, and the air force.
Currently, the armed forces of Morocco use Chinese military equipment including VT-1A main battle tanks, Type 56 7.62mm assault rifles, HJ-8L anti-tank missiles, PHL-03 and WS-2D MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System, Sky Dragon 50 Medium-Range Surface-to-Air defense missile, and Type 90 35mm anti-aircraft gun.
The FD-2000 is an export version of the Chinese-made HQ-9 advanced long-range air defense missile weapon system designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company CPMIEC (China Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation).
The FD-2000B is an improved version of the FD-2000 long-range air defense missile system which is able to intercept and destroy all types of current aerial threats at different altitudes such as conventional aircraft, stealth aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. This air defense missile system is able to counter multiple targets from short to long-range and can be connected to an air defense network with other weapon systems.
In the Chinese Armed Forces, an HQ-9 (FD-2000) battery includes a command vehicle, six control vehicles, 6 targeting radar vehicles, 6 search-radar vehicles, 48 missile-launch vehicles, and 192 missiles; plus a positioning vehicle, a communications vehicle, a power supply vehicle and a support vehicle. A battalion reportedly contains 8 missile launch vehicles.
The FD-2000B launcher erector truck (TEL) has four missile containers. In firing position, the missiles containers are placed at the vertical to the rear side of the truck, two stabilizers are deployed at the rear and center of the chassis. The FD-2000B surface-to-air missile is armed with a 180 kg warhead. It can fly at a maximum speed of Mach 4.2. , and has a maximum range of 300 km up to an altitude of 30 km.