Morocco To Receive First Batch of FD-2000 (HQ-9) SAM From China

HQ-9 SAM, a reverse engineered copy of S-300PMU sold to Morocco.

The Moroccan army is about to receive the Chinese FD-2000 medium-range anti-aircraft missile system, which is a real qualitative leap for what has always been the poor relation of FAR anti-aircraft defense.

To welcome FD-2000 SAM, the FAR built a specific base recognizable by its Soviet configuration but without underground or protected infrastructure. The most recent satellite photos GDC obtained in July 15, Sentinel L2A satellite, indicate in the IR range that the base is not yet supplied or occupied, but that the infrastructure, whose work began in January 2018 (still according to our satellite images) is about to be completed.

Moroccan FD-2000 coverage.

The base in question is located in Sidi Yahya du Gharb in the north-west of Morocco equidistant between the airbases of Kénitra and Sidi Slimane and about fifty kilometres north-east of the capital Rabat, therefore far from the Algerian neighbors and Spanish. By transposing the range of the radar and the maximum theoretical envelope of the missiles on the map, we understand the choice of location, which is to defend useful Morocco and the large cities of the North such as Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier and Meknes. 

The FD-2000 system is the export version of the HQ-9 which consists of vertical truck launchers (TELs) carrying four missiles each, an HT-233 engagement radar, a 3D Type 305A radar and an acquisition radar. Type 120 low-altitude targets. Its main asset is the presence of the YLC-20 passive radar capable of detecting stealth aircraft. The maximum range of the FD-2000 missile is 125 km at a maximum altitude of 27 km.

This system is manufactured by CPMIEC (China Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation) in China and won the Turkish tender in 2015 and was then disqualified, it is deployed by the Chinese, Uzbek and Turkmen army. China, which has a non-export version that is much more efficient in theory, has chosen the S-300 PMU2 and the Russian S-400 to protect Beijing and Chinese strategic infrastructures.

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