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Mexican Navy commissions two new vessels

27 November 2016
The Mexican Navy commissioned the OPV ARM Chiapas on 23 November. Source: SEMAR

The Mexican Navy commissioned an offshore patrol vessel (OPV) and a logistics support ship during a ceremony attended by President Enrique Peña Nieto on 23 November.

The Mexican Secretariat of Navy (SEMAR) said the OPV is ARM Chiapas (PO 165) and the logistics ship is ARM Isla Maria Madre (BAL 11).

Constructed at the Naval Shipyard (ASTIMAR) N°20 in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas is the first of four OPVs that were ordered as part of the SEMAR 2013-2018 plan. The second, ARM Hidalgo (PO 166), has already been launched and is expected to be commissioned in 2017, while construction of the third ship has already started in Salina Cruz.

While designated as Oaxaca-class vessels, a type designed by the Mexican Navy, the new OPVs are actually improved derivatives of this class, featuring several modifications, including a bulbous bow and a BAE Systems Bofors Mk.3 57 mm main gun.

The logistics ship Isla Maria Madre is based on the Damen Fast Crew Supplier 5009 design and built by ASTIMAR N°6 in Guaymas, Sonora. It was constructed for the specific purpose of providing transport capabilities for the prison complex on the Islas Maria archipelago off Mexico's Pacific Coast.

The Navy Day celebrations on 23 November also saw the unveiling of the navy's new multipurpose heli-transportable camp. This unique mobile facility is reportedly unique in Latin America and was developed to United Nations standards. It comprises five sections that can be rapidly deployed to disaster areas, and has the capability to provide up to 2,000 hot meals a day and filter up to 100 tonnes of water per day for drinking.

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