SPAIN’s right wing party Vox presented a case this Tuesday to boost Spain’s military power in the southern peninsula for fear of potential Moroccan attacks.
Vox party leader Santiago Abascal made the proposal due to the Algerian and Moroccon governments increasing military spending by up to 157%, putting Spain in a ‘critical’ and ‘chilling’ situation.
Abascal specifically requested that Spain’s Ministry of Defense procures 200 AGM-158C air-to-ground missiles that can be fired from Spain’s jet fighter aircraft.
The American made missile costs $1.2 million (€1.02 million) per unit, meaning if the bill is accepted it will entail a government investment of €204 million.
The request comes as the Moroccan Ministry of Defense completed a purchase of 12 AGM-84-L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles that can be launched from 25 newly acquired F-16 fighter jets, both purchased from the US.
The deal between the US and Morocco is estimated to be worth $3.787 billion (€3.2 billion) and was authorised to bolster Morocco’s coalition abilities against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Abascal issued a ‘warning’ that the African nations newly increased military potential has put Spain’s aging arsenal on the back foot and in a dangerous position if tensions between the two nations ever came to a head.
But there is currently no tension between Spain and Morocco or any reason to fear the North African country.
Meanwhile the Vox leader is also concerned that Spain’s military position of power in the southern region of Europe is under threat, and that urgent action must be taken to ensure that the country remains an important figure in European defense.
Despite the Ejército del Aire‘s recent confirmation that they are to upgrade their fleet of Eurofighter and F/A-18 jets, Vox still believes Spain’s military is in desperate need of modernisation.
“For example, the airspace of the Canary Islands, Spain only has the 20 F/A-18 jets, the oldest F-18s in the military fleet, which were acquired second-hand from the United States many years ago and that urgently need replacement,” said Abascal.
In addition to the request for more missiles, Vox has urged for immediate upgrades to its submarine fleet and an increase in the defense budget by 2%.