MEXICO CITY --- Today, at the Navy Shipyard Number 20 (ASTIMAR 20) of the Secretariat of the Navy - Navy of Mexico, based in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, the President of the United States of Mexico and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, presided over the ceremony for the launch and flagging of the Long Range Oceanic Patrol Vessel ARM "Reformador" (POLA-10) as part of the celebrations of the "Day of the Navy of Mexico" that also marks the commemoration of National Independence, a historical event that took place on November 23, 1825.
The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces was accompanied by Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, Secretary of the Navy and Supreme Commander of the Mexican Navy, as well as civil, naval and military authorities.
The construction of the Long-Range Ocean Patrol ship is part of the Marine Sector Program 2013-2018 that strengthens and promotes the maritime development of the country and its naval industry; therefore, Vice Admiral Naval Engineer Mariano Valencia Salinas, Director of the ASTIMAR 20 shipyard, stressed that this ship will increase the operational capability to enforce maritime law in the Mexican seas.
At the same time, as part of the protocol of launching, Mrs. Georgina Ventura de Soberón, representing Mrs. Angelica Rivera de Peña, godmother of the ship, addressed some words of good fortune and hope for the first crew of this Navy ship. Mexico, which will go to the readiness phase where the systems and equipment will be equipped and installed, and the corresponding tests will be developed so that the term is fully operational. Likewise, training will be carried out for the personnel that integrate their crew.
During this event, Mrs. Ventura de Soberón cut a ribbon with the ceremonial axe, which was the traditional breaking of a bottle of mezcal, traditional drink of the region, against the bow of the hull, with which the maneuver of launching the ship until it is afloat, being thus bathed for the first time by the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
It is worth mentioning that one of the missions of this unit is to conduct patrol and surveillance operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone to maintain the Rule of Law at sea. For this mission, the Long-Range Oceanic Patrol Vessel has a length of 107.14 meters, a width of 14.02 meters, a displacement of 2,570 tonnes, a maximum speed of 27 knots (50 km/hr). Its propulsion is diesel-mechanical / diesel-electric combination and she has a 20-day autonomy at sea.
The characteristics will serve for long-range search and rescue operations to safeguard human life at sea, as well as humanitarian aid actions, multinational operations and peacekeeping.
It is noteworthy that the Navy has shipyards on both coasts of the country, where ships are designed, built and repaired for the Navy of Mexico and other types of vessels for the public and private sectors, thereby promoting the development of the National Maritime Sector.
During the aforementioned celebrations, the President of the Republic sent the "JALISCO" ARM Ocean Surveillance Patrol Vessel (PO-167), which was launched on July 2 of this year, as well as the ARM Long Range Ocean Patrol Vessel. “Reformer” POLA-101, where he toured of the interiors, at which time he said "I come in the name of the Homeland to entrust its value, patriotism and strict discipline to this Flag, which symbolizes its Independence, its Institutions, the integrity of its territory and the naval honor."
During the flagging of the Oceanic Patrol "JALISCO" (PO-167) and the Long Range Oceanic Patrol "REFORMADOR" (POLA-101), the Secretary of the Navy pointed out that "today, two new surface units of this Institution has raised our badge for the first time. They confirm that this is their homeland and that they will always be ready to look after their highest interests. He added that each of the missions entrusted to them will always be aimed at asserting the Rule of Law in our seas and thereby defending the Independence and Sovereignty of Mexico. "
Likewise, he delivered to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces on behalf of the navy men of the Navy of Mexico, the badge of command that waved in the different naval facilities while he was present, a hallmark of authority and leadership before our ground, air and sea forces.
During the present administration, the Secretariat of Navy-Navy of Mexico has built 16 ships among them: A Long-Range Patrol Vessel, eight Coastal Patrols, three Ocean Surveillance Vessels, two Intercepting Patrols and two Logistic Support Vessels, to boost their fleet naval.
This Institution reaffirms its commitment to continue with the momentum of the Naval Industry and the National Maritime Sector; as well as having an efficient and effective Navy, according to national and global requirements, to ensure the safety of citizens, on land, air and sea.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: ARM Reformador was locally assembled from six modules – two built by Damen in the Netherlands and four by Astimar 20 -- to a design derived from Damen Shipyards’ Sigma-class corvettes, which are also in service in Indonesia and Morocco.
Reformador is also armed with Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) surface-to-air missiles, MK 54 Mod 0 lightweight torpedoes and an 8-cell MK56 VLS launcher for the Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSM), making it very powerfully armed for an OPV.
After additional outfitting and tests, builder’s trials will take place in 2019, and the ship is due to be handed over to the Mexican Navy in early 2020.)