|Armada de México|
|Active||January 19, 1821|
|Part of||Secretariat of The Navy|
|Anniversaries||June 1, National Navy Day|
|Admiral José Rafael Ojeda Durán|
|Naval jack (1994–2000)|
The Mexican Navy is one of the two independent armed forces of Mexico. The actual naval forces are called the Armada de México. The Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) (English: Naval Secretariat) includes both the Armada itself and the attached ministerial and civil service. The commander of the Navy is the Secretary of the Navy, who is both a cabinet minister and a career naval officer.
The Mexican Navy's stated mission is "to use the naval force of the federation for external defense, and to help with internal order". The Navy consists of about 64,000 (2019) men and women plus reserves, over 189 ships, and about 130 aircraft. The Navy attempts to maintain a constant modernization program in order to upgrade its response capability.
Given Mexico's large area of water (3,149,920 km2 (1,216,190 sq mi)) and extensive coastline (11,122 km (6,911 mi)), the Navy's duties are of great importance. Perhaps its most important on-going missions are the war on drugs and protecting PEMEX's oil wells in Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. Another important task of the Mexican Navy is to help people in hurricane relief operations and other natural disasters.
The Mexican Navy has its origins in the creation of the Ministry of War in 1821. From that year until 1939 it existed jointly with the Mexican Army in the organic ministry. Since its declaration of independence from Spain in September 1810, through the mid decades of the 19th century, Mexico found itself in a constant state of war, mostly against Spain which had not recognized its independence. Therefore, its priority was to purchase its first fleet from the U.S. in order to displace the last remaining Spanish forces from its coasts.
The Mexican Navy has participated in many naval battles to protect and defend Mexico's interests. Some of the most important battles were:
- Attempts by Spain to reconquer Mexico
The first French intervention in Mexico (The 'Pastry War') (November 1838 – March 1839)
- An entire Armada was captured at Veracruz
- Texan Independence (1836–1845)
- Yucatán Independence (1841–1848)
- The Mexican–American War (1846–1848)
- The Second French Intervention (1862–1867)
- The Mexican Revolution (1910–1919)
- First Battle of Topolobampo
- Second Battle of Topolobampo
- Third Battle of Topolobampo
- Action of 9 April 1914
- Fourth Battle of Topolobampo
Second invasion by the United States (April 9, 1914 – November 23, 1914)
Mexican Navy gunboat Libertad in the 1870s
The President of Mexico is commander in chief of all military forces. Day-to-day control of the Navy lies with the Navy Secretary, José Rafael Ojeda Durán. In Mexico there is no joint force command structure with the army, so the Secretary reports directly to the President. The Navy has a General Headquarters and three naval forces. There are furthermore eight regions (four on the Pacific coast, three on the Mexican Gulf coast and the Región Naval Central, grouping the naval forces, based in and around the capital Mexico City, such as the 7th Naval Infantry Brigade, the Central Special Operations Group and the Air Transport Squadron), thirteen zones, and fourteen naval sectors.
The Navy is divided into three main services designated as "forces":
Other notable services include:
The Mexican Naval Infantry Corps was reorganized in 2007–2009 into 30 Naval Infantry Battalions (Batallones de Infantería de Marina – BIM), a paratroop battalion, a battalion attached to the Presidential Guard Brigade, two Fast Reaction Forces with six battalions each, and three Special Forces groups. The Naval Infantry are responsible for port security, protection of the ten-kilometer coastal fringe, and patrolling major waterways.
The Naval Infantry also is responsible for 23 National Service Training Units under the responsibility of the Navy Secretary, enforcing the National Service obligation for Mexicans of teenage and young adult age.
Search and rescue units
In 2008, the Mexican Navy created its new search and rescue system, allocated in strategic ports at Pacific and Gulf of Mexico ports, to provide assistance to any ships which are in jeopardy or at risk due to mechanical failure, weather conditions or life risk to the crew. To provide such support, the Navy has ordered Coast Guard Defender class ships (two per station, and one 47-Foot Motor Lifeboat coast guard vessel). Other stations will be provided only with Defender-class boats.
On April 1, 2014 SEMAR officially announced the creation of Port Protection Naval Units (Unidades Navales de Protección Portuaria: UNAPROP) which will include a marine section. The main task of UNAPROPs is to ensure maritime surveillance and inspection.
Training and education
The Navy offers several options for graduate studies in their educational institutions:
It is the school where future officers are trained for the General Corps of the Navy. Candidates can enter upon completing high school. Upon completion of studies, graduates obtain the degree of Corbeta Lieutenant and the title of Naval Science Engineer.
- Naval Medical School
This school Located in Mexico City, offers a career in medicine. Officers are trained with skills for the prevention and health care of naval personnel. By adopting a professional examination, graduates can obtain the degree of Naval Military Lieutenant Corvette.
- Naval Engineering School
In the Naval Engineering School, officers are responsible for the preventive and corrective maintenance of systems and electronic equipment installed on ships and installations of the Mexican Navy. This school offers career of Electronic Engineering and Naval Communications. It is located between the town of Mata Grape and Anton Lizardo, 32 km (20 mi) from the port of Veracruz.
- Naval Nursing School
Here the time to achieve a nursing degree lasts eight semesters. Officers are trained with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable them to assist medical personnel in caring for patients in hospitals, sanatoriums, clinics, health sections on land, aboard ships and at The Naval Medical Center.
- Naval Aviation School
The Naval Aviation School trains pilots for the Mexican Naval Aviation as well as staff from the Federal Preventive Police and Naval personnel from various countries of Central America. This school is located on Veracruz.
- Search, Rescue and Diving School
Located in Acapulco, members of The Navy are trained for marine search, rescue and diving. It also trains state police officers and firefighters.
Modernization and budget
The annual Navy's budget is in a one to three proportion of the national budget relative to the Mexican Army and Mexican Air Force. The Navy has a reputation for being well-run and well-organized. This reputation allows for a close relationship with the United States Navy (USN), as evidenced by the procurement of numerous former USN ships.
The Secretary of the Navy, Admiral Francisco Saynez Mendoza, announced on October 1, 2007, detailed plans to upgrade and modernize the country's naval capabilities. On the following day, La Jornada newspaper from Mexico City, disclosed the Mexican Navy plans, which are among others, to build six offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) with a length of 86 metres (282 ft), 1,680 tons and each housing a Eurocopter Panther helicopter as well as small high-speed interception boats. The budget for this project is above US$200 million.
Another project is to build 12 CB 90 HMN high speed (50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph)) interception boats under license from a Swedish boat company Dockstavarvet to the Mexican Navy. Also, a number of fully equipped planes for surveillance and maritime patrol are being considered. Combinations of options and development are being defined.
The Mexican Navy depends upon their naval shipyards for construction and repairs of their ships. There are five shipyards located in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean:
- Gulf of Mexico
- Pacific Ocean
The Mexican Navy initiated studies to develop and construct its first missile, according to a May 2005 interview with the undersecretary of the Navy, Armando Sanchez, the missile was to have an average range of 12 to 15 kilometres (7.5 to 9.3 mi) and be able to target enemy ships and aircraft. The undersecretary added that they already had the solid propellant, and the basic design of the missile. All aspects relative to their fuselage were solved as well as the launch platforms. The Mexican Navy was developing the software to direct the missile to its target. In July 2008, the project was reported to be 80% complete. Despite this effort, the missile development was canceled in 2009 due to "problems with the propulsion system".
In 2009, the Mexican Navy began operating a batch of new MPQ-64 Sentinel radars in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico. The radar network was installed in 2007 for a trial phase while military personnel were trained to get familiar with the system. The new installations will work together with combat surface vessels that patrol the area.
|Allende class||Multipurpose frigate||F211 Ignacio Allende
F212 Mariano Abasolo
F213 Guadalupe Victoria
F214 Francisco Javier Mina
|United States – ex-US Navy Knox-class frigate|
|Reformador class||Multipurpose frigate||F101 Reformador||Netherlands/ Mexico - Ships being built in The Netherlands and Mexico. At least 8 ships planned for fleet modernisation plan.|
|Missile boats (2)|
|Huracán class||missile boat||A301 Huracán
|Israel – ex-Israeli Navy Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boat|
|Ocean patrol vessels and other Warships (37)|
|Oaxaca class||Ocean patrol vessels||P161 Oaxaca
P162 Baja California
|Durango class||Compact Frigate||P151 Durango
|Sierra class||Corvette||P141 Sierra
|Holzinger class||Ocean patrol vessels||P131 Holzinger
P133 De la Vega
|Uribe class||Ocean patrol vessels||P121 Uribe (sunk to make reef)
|Valle class||Ocean patrol vessels||P102 Juan de la Barrera
P103 Mariano Escobedo
P104 Manuel Doblado
P106 Santos Degollado
P108 Juan N. Álvarez
P109 Manuel Gutiérrez Zamora
P110 Valentín Gómez Farías
P112 Francisco Zarco
P113 Ignacio L. Vallarta
P114 Jesús González Ortega
P117 Mariano Matamoros
|United States – ex-Auk-class minesweeper|
|Coastal patrol ships (44)|
|Tenochtitlan class||Coastal patrol||PC331 Tenochtitlan
PC333 ARM Palenque
PC334 ARM Mitla
PC335 ARM Uxmal
PC336 ARM Tajin
PC337 ARM Tulum
PC338 ARM Monte Albán
PC339 ARM Bonampak
PC340 Chichen Iztzá
|Netherlands Based on Damen Stan Patrol 4207|
|Azteca class||Coastal patrol||PC202 Cordova
PC208 De la Fuente
| United Kingdom|
|Demócrata class||Coastal patrol||PC241 Demócrata
PC242 Francisco I. Madero
|Cabo class||Coastal patrol||PC271 Corriente
|Punta class||Coastal patrol||PC-281 Morro
|Polaris class||Patrol||44 In service||Sweden|
|Polaris II class||Patrol||6 In service + 17 under construction||Mexico|
|Acuario A/B class||Patrol||In service||Mexico|
|Isla class||Patrol||In service||Mexico|
|Amphibious ships (3)|
|Papaloapan class||Tank landing ship||A411 Papaloapan
|United States – ex-USN Newport-class tank landing ship|
|Panuco class||Tank landing ship||A402 Manzanillo||United States - ex-US Navy USS Clearwater County, transferred in 1972|
|Logistic support vessel (2)|
|Montes Azules class||Landing ship||BAL01 Montes Azules
BAL02 Libertador (construction completed, inaugurated on September 10, 2012)
|TBD class||Supply ship||BAL11 Isla Madre Launched July 11, 2016.||Netherlands Based on Damen Fast Crew Supplier 5009|
|Mine counter-measure (6)|
|Huasteco class||Multipurpose||AMP01 Huasteco
|Maya class||Multipurpose||ATR01 Maya
|Cuauhtemoc class||Training ship||BE01 Cuauhtémoc||Spain|
The Mexican Navy includes 60 smaller patrol boats and 32 auxiliary ships. It acquired 40 fast military assault crafts, designated CB 90 HMN, between 1999 and 2001 and obtained a production license in 2002, enabling further units to be manufactured in Mexico.
|BTR-60/BTR-70||Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier||APC-70|
|Carat Security Group||Armored Car (Military)||Wolverine (Escorpion)|
|Renault Sherpa 2||Light Armored Vehicle||MACK Sherpa Scout|
|Land Rover||Armored Car (Military)||Defender 4x4|
|Infantry Transport Vehicles|
|Ford-150||Light Utility Vehicle||4x4 F-150 series pick up|
|Ford-250||Light Utility Vehicle||4x4 F-250 series pick up|
|Dodge Ram||Light Utility Vehicle||4x4 Pick up|
|Mercedes-Benz||Light Utility Vehicle||4x4 G-class|
|Ural-4320||Utility Vehicle||Off-road 6x6 truck|
|UNIMOG U-4000||Utility Vehicle||4x4 truck|
|Gama Goat||Amphibious 6-wheeled vehicle||6x6 truck|
|Freightliner M2||Utility Vehicle||4x2 truck|
Individual weapons and equipment
|M16A2 rifle||5.56×45mm NATO||Assault rifle|
|M4 Carbine||5.56×45mm NATO||Assault rifle|
|IMI Galil||5.56×45mm NATO||Assault rifle|
|Heckler & Koch MP5||9×19mm||Submachine gun|
|Heckler & Koch UMP||.45 ACP||Submachine gun|
|FN P90||5.7×28mm||Submachine gun|
|Colt M1911||.45 ACP||Pistol|
|Glock 17||9x19mm Parabellum||Pistol|
|Heckler & Koch MSG90||7.62×51mm NATO||Sniper rifle|
|Barrett M82||.50 BMG||Sniper rifle|
|Remington 700||7.62×51mm NATO||Sniper rifle|
|FN Minimi||5.56×45mm NATO||Machine gun|
|CETME Ameli||5.56×45mm NATO||Machine gun|
|GAU-19||12.7×99mm NATO||Heavy machine gun|
|M2 Browning machine gun||12.7×99mm NATO||Heavy machine gun|
|M134||7.62×51mm NATO||Gatling-type machine gun|
|STK 40 AGL||40mm||Grenade machine gun|
|Milkor MGL||40mm||Grenade launcher|
|M203 grenade launcher||40mm||Grenade launcher|
|Bofors L70||40mm||Anti-aircraft artillery|
|Shipboard anti-aircraft artillery|
|Phalanx CIWS||20mm||Close In Weapon System|
|Multiple rocket launchers|
|FIROS||122mm||Multiple Launch Rocket System|
|OTO Melara Mod 56||105mm||Towed howitzer|
|Brandt LR||60mm||Light mortar|
|Bofors L70||40mm||Towed anti-aircraft artillery|
|Bofors L60||40mm||Towed anti-aircraft artillery|
|Oerlikon||20mm||Towed anti-aircraft artillery|
|Gabriel||Mk. II||Anti-shipping missile|
|RGM-84L Harpoon||Block II||Anti-shipping missile|
|RIM-116||RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM)||Anti-aircraft missile|
|RIM-162||RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM)||Anti-aircraft missile|
|Light anti-tank weapons|
|Valmet L-90||Combat/Counter Insurgency||L-90TP||8|
|Beechcraft T-6 Texan II||Training||T-6C+||2 |
|CASA C-295||Tactical transport||C295M||6|
|Bombardier Dash 8||Tactical transport||DH-8||1|
|Turbo Commander||Transport||980 Turbo||4|
|Gulfstream IV||VIP transport||G450||1|
|Reconnaissance and intelligence|
|CASA CN-235||Surveillance||CN-235MP 300||6|
|King Air 350||Surveillance||King Air 350ER||4|
|Eurocopter Fennec||Search & rescue||AS555AF||2|
|Eurocopter Panther||Combat||AS656MB / MBe||14|
|Eurocopter EC 725||Transport||EC725||3|
|Bölkow Bo 105||Surveillance||EC-Super Five||11|
|MD Helicopters MD 500||Training||MD-500||4|
|Mil Mi-2||Transport||Mi-2 Hopite||1|
|MD Helicopters MD Explorer||Combat||MD-902||6|
|Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk||Transport and combat||UH-60M||10 + 12 |
|UAV SEMAR||Reconnaissance/Intelligence||T1 / T2 / T3||3|
|EADS CASA||surveillance||CASA CN-235||2|
|Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk||Utility maritime helicopter||MH-60R||8 |
For the year 2008 budget, the Mexican Congress approved a US$15 million fund to build only 17 out of the 60 combat boats requested. These ships, designated CB 90 HMN, are to increase the Mexican Navy's fast boat fleet. Additional budgets will be awarded each passing year. In total, the Mexican Navy has over 189 operational ships.
In January 2013, the 112th Session of US Congress authorized the transfer of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates USS Curts and USS McClusky to the Mexican Navy, but due to the cost of overhauling the vessels and the removal of all the weapons systems and most of the electronics and radar gear by the USN prior to transfer, this is still undecided by Mexico. The offer expired on 1 January 2016.
On June 24, 2014 the Mexican Government requested the purchase of 5 UH-60Ms in USG configuration from the U.S.; its estimated cost is $225 million. Also on June 24, BAE Systems announced it was awarded a contract by the Mexican Government to supply the navy with 4 Mk 3 57mm naval guns, for the ships of the Reformador class.
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