The Mexican Navy has recently completed Sea Acceptance Tests (SAT) for its multi-purpose frigate DAMEN SIGMA 10514, ARM Reformer (POLA 101) . The tests were conducted from November 18 to December 18, 2019, off the coast of the southern Pacific states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, the Mexican Navy announced.
SIGMA 10514 is part of the Mexican Navy Long Range Patrol Ship Project, known locally as POLA (Patrulla Oceanica de Largo Reach), which aims to supply the Navy eight frigates before the end of the next decade. Construction began in 2016, with four of the six ship modules, or sections, being built locally at the ASTIMAR 20 Navy shipyard in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, while two modules – bridge and propulsion modules – were built in the Netherlands.
Final assembly and system integrations took place in Mexico, with the assistance of DAMEN, the long-time partner of the Mexican Navy, which also provided technical support for the construction of 10 Stan Patrol coastal patrol vessels , known locally as the class. Tenochtitlan.
The SIGMA 10514 is Mexico’s first modern frigate with a Thales TACTICOS combat management system, a Thales SMART-S radar and a CAPTAS variable depth sonar. The ship is also equipped with eight RGM-84L Harpoon Block II surface war missile launchers, RIM-116 RAM Block II missiles and Mark 54 torpedoes. With a displacement of 2,500 tonnes and a 21-day autonomy at sea, the ship It will provide the Mexican Navy with much-needed assets for maritime security missions, as well as participating in multinational deployments and search and rescue (SAR) operations far beyond the Mexican Exclusive Economic Zone.
The introduction of the Reforming ARM represents not only a technological leap, but also a doctrinal evolution in the Mexican Navy, as it is willing to evolve from a purely constitutional force to a much more balanced force.
Despite the success of this first SIGMA, it is not yet known whether the POLA project will continue as planned as the new government seems to focus more on internal security issues and has yet to decide on the future of the eight-ship program. The upcoming Navy sector program – the navy’s strategic plan for the next five years – is expected to shed some light on POLA as well as other currently disrupted shipbuilding projects. A Mexican defense source told Jane that the Mexican Navy may decide to allocate resources for up to three more SIGMA 10514 over the next five years.