The U.S. Department of State approved a possible $41 million sale of Evolved Seasparrow tactical missiles (ESSM) and related equipment to the government of Mexico for its new Sigma-class corvettes, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release.
“The Government of Mexico has requested to buy six (6) Evolved Seasparrow tactical missiles (ESSM) and two (2) Evolved Seasparrow telemetry missiles,” the Thursday, August 9 press release said.
“Also included are one (1) MK56 VLS launcher (8-cell), eight (8) MK30 canisters, eight (8) MK783 shipping containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, training, USG/Contractor technical and engineering support services, and technical assistance.”
The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems.
The RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile was developed from the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile and is used for air defense. It is intended to protect ships from both aircraft and missiles, in particular to counter supersonic anti-ship missiles.
According to the NATO consortium that developed it, telemetry versions of the ESSM are available for test exercises.
Finland has requested 68 of the ESSM for use of its Squadron 2020 class corvettes.
Mexico intends to use the weapons systems for the Armada de México (Mexican Navy)’s Dutch-built Sigma 10514 Class ships.
Sigma-class vessels are corvette- or frigate-size ships, and are based on a modular design in which the hull segments are designed as components. Sigma stands for Ship Integrated Geometrical Modularity Approach, and the type number describes the ship – ‘10514’ stands for 105 meters (344 feet) long and with a beam of 14 meters (46 feet).
In January, the State Department approved a $98.4 million sale of Harpoon anti-ship missiles, RAM surface-to-air missiles and Mk 54 lightweight torpedoes to Mexico for use on the Sigma.
The keel laying for the new Armada de México Sigma 10514 long range patrol vessel took place on August 18, 2017 at Damen Schelde Naval Shipyard in Vlissingen, the Netherlands.
“The sale of these shipboard systems to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen Mexico’s maritime capabilities. Mexico intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing naval and maritime support of national security requirements,” the DSCA said.