Mexico is modernizing its naval fleet with the acquisition of a single Damen SIGMA 10514 long-range patrol vessel. With a maximum speed of 28 knots and a helicopter deck for day or night operations (with refuelling capability), the SIGMA will open up a number of possibilities for the Mexican Navy (Secretaria de Marina – SEMAR) such as the capability to assist on humanitarian missions, search and rescue, deterrence, ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), AAW (Anti-Aircraft Warfare), ASuW (Anti-Surface Warfare), and EW (Electronic Warfare), as well as participate in international exercises. Able to accommodate customer platform and combat system requirements, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) SIGMA series of naval combatants is an appealing choice to navies.

The Mexican Navy is no stranger to the Dutch shipbuilder and is currently operating ten Damen vessels in its fleet, having signed two contracts in 2014. The first contract was signed for seven Damen Stan Patrol 4207’s built at ASTIMAR 1 in Tampico on the Gulf of Mexico. A contract for a further three Stan Patrols brought the number to ten. Damen provided a package including engineering, materials, technical assistance, and crew training. In January 2017, the ninth vessel named ARM Bonampak was launched at ASTIMAR 1. A contract was also signed for a Damen Fast Crew Supplier 5009 tailored to Mexican Navy requirements. The vessel will be constructed at ASTIMAR 6 in Guaymas on the Pacific coast of Mexico.

With regards to the SIGMA 10514, Damen continues to contribute to the development of Mexican shipbuilding capabilities by splitting construction between Mexico (where four modules will be constructed) and the Netherlands (two modules). The modules will be integrated in Mexico between June and September 2018. This form of module construction allows Damen the opportunity to build vessels in any location and offers local yards a transfer of technology opening up a cooperative channel, which can only be beneficial for the local industry. On 17 August 2017, a keel laying ceremony held at DSNS in Vlissingen, Netherlands was attended by Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, Secretary of the Mexican Navy. The launch of the SIGMA 10514 is scheduled for October 2018.

The SIGMA 10514 contains a sensor suite with 3D surveillance and target indication radar and IFF, Radar/electro-optical fire control, hull mounted sonar, ESM, combat management system, and integrated internal and external communication system. Its weapons capability includes a medium calibre gun 76mm, close in weapon system, two small calibre guns, two SSM launchers, 12 cell SAM launcher, two triple torpedo launching systems, two decoy launchers, and ECM.

The Indonesian Ministry of Defence is also a fan of the SIGMA series and in February 2017, received a SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) frigate named the Raden Eddy Martadinata after a founder of the Indonesian Navy. The vessel was assembled at the PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya, Indonesia where the ceremony took place. The vessel was also built in modular fashion at DSNS (two modules) and PT PAL Shipyard (four modules). A second frigate is under construction with delivery set for October 2017. The Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) came close to enhancing its navy with a SIGMA corvette deal however the deal fell through due to procurement inefficiency and funding constraints.




Written by Sylvia Caravotas (Satovarac Consulting) for OIDA

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