Mexico has formally held a launching and flagging ceremony for its Long Range Oceanic Patrol (POLA in Spanish) vessel. During the ceremony, the vessel was officially named ARM Reformador (POLA 101).
The ceremony was held on November 23, the anniversary of Mexico’s independence and was headed by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, Secretary of the Navy and High Command of the Mexican Navy, as well as civil, naval and military authorities were also in attendance.
Mexico has long required a vessel to provide long-range patrol and search and rescue operations. Although Mexico has discussed purchasing secondhand frigates from the U.S., no deal was every signed. Ultimately, Mexico decided to purchase a new vessel from Damen. A contract was signed in early 2017. The advantage is that it will enable government to support its internal industry and provide employment opportunities for Mexican workers.
The Sigma 10514 frigate is a little more than 105 meters long with a 14 meter beam and can accommodate 120 crew members. Powered by Combined Diesel or Electric (CODOE) 2×10,000 kW engines and 2×1,300 kW engines, the vessels can reach a maximum speed of 28 knots. Each vessel is equipped with a 76 mm gun, close in weapons system (CIWS), ship-to-ship missile launches, short range air defense weapons, torpedo launchers, chaff dispensers, and a full electronic complement provided by Thales and Indra.