Staff, World Tribune
9 August 2015
Morocco is expected to conclude negotiations to obtain the country’s first submarine from Russia during King Mohammed VI’s upcoming visit to Moscow.
According to reports, Morocco and Russia are close to reaching a deal on the price tag of the Russian-made Amur 1650 submarine. Negotiations have been postponed several times since the deal was proposed in 2013.
“The forthcoming visit of His Majesty the King has a historical and strategic importance,” said Moroccan ambassador to Russia Abdelkader Lachheb, according to Sputnik. The date of the trip this year has not been announced.
“It is designed to give a strong impetus to the development and quality of bilateral relations and to deepen the strategic partnership between Russia and Morocco,” added the Moroccan envoy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued the invitation to King Mohammed in May 2015.
A source inside Morocco told the media that Rabat’s purchase of the Russian sub is likely to be “a long term deal.”
The source added that other deals with Russia that are seen as more important have been suspended for financial reasons. That includes a deal for helicopters with anti-submarine capabilities to reinforce Morocco’s four new frigate warships
Larger and intended for longer missions then its predecessor (the Amur 950), the Amur 1650 is capable of carrying 18 missiles, torpedoes, or mines, and can be operated in any oceanic area, except for regions with extensive ice cover, at any weather, and in shallow and deep waters.