Mexico buying Evolved Seasparrow missiles for new Sigma corvette

Mexico is buying an 8-cell MK56 VLS launcher and Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSM) for its new Sigma corvette, a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency statement has said.

Mexican Navy's POLA corvette under construction in Mexico. Photo: Damen

According to the statement, The US State Department approved a possible sale of six Evolved Seasparrow tactical missiles (ESSM) and two Evolved Seasparrow telemetry missiles for an estimated cost of $41 million.

Included in the sale are one MK56 VLS launcher, eight MK30 canisters, eight MK783 shipping containers, spare and repair parts, training, engineering support services, and technical assistance.

The total estimated value is $41 million with Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, as prime contractor.

The announcement follows an earlier one in which the government of Mexico requested the sale of RGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, Block II Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) surface-to-air missiles and MK 54 Mod 0 lightweight torpedoes under a potential $$98.4 million contract.

The weapons would be used on the Mexican Navy’s 107-meter Long Range Ocean Patrol vessel (POLA from its initials in Spanish).

POLA will be based on Damen’s SIGMA 10514 design capable of sailing at speeds of up to 25+ knots and staying at sea for more than 20 days.

Dutch shipbuilder Damen and the Mexican Navy took the decision to build two of the six modular sections of the vessel at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) in Vlissingen, the Netherlands, with the remaining four modules to be built locally in Mexico.

The first of the Dutch modules is now in Mexico, where it is being integrated by Mexican personal with two of those already built in Salina Cruz.

The flagging ceremony of the POLA is planned for November 2018. After this, a full integrated process of setting to work, commissioning, training, tests and trials will continue in 2019.