Mexico Approved to Purchase ESSM

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On August 9, the United States Department of State approved a Mexican purchase of six tactical Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSM), two ESSM telemetry missiles, an MK56 8-cell vertical launching system (VLS), eight MK30 canisters, and eight MK783 shipping containers, along with various supporting materials. The systems will be mounted on the Dutch-manufactured Sigma 10514-class frigate. The DSCA news release explains the purpose of this sale, stating: “The systems will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defense of critical sea lanes. The proposed sale of these systems and support services will increase the Mexican Navy’s maritime partnership potential and align its capabilities with existing regional navies.” An additional January 2018 U.S. State Department decision authorized the sale of RGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles and Block II Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) for deployment on Mexico’s Sigma-class frigate as well.