Morocco to Buy a French FREMM Frigate
“Dogfight at the Casbah: Rafale vs. F-16” noted the dwindling odds of a Rafale fighter sale to Morocco, but reported rumors that Morocco would purchase one of the new 142m, 6,000t Franco-Italian FREMM frigates for about EUR 500 million (about $710 million) during French President Sarkozy’s visit.
True to form, there has been no announcement yet concerning the Rafale in conjunction with French President Sarkozy’s visit. The frigate sale appears to have gone through, however, as France’s military shipbuilder DCNS has now announced that “the Kingdom’s highest authorities confirmed an agreement between the two countries to provide the Royal Moroccan Navy with a FREMM multimission frigate.” Morocco is the design’s first international customer beyond the 2 partner nations, and almost certainly not the last. Current plans call for 27 vessels for France (17) and Italy (10), and FREMM is available in anti-submarine, anti-surface, anti-air and land strike versions in order to meet client navies’ specific needs.