Mexico’s Navy – Armada de México – inducted the first two of what could be as many as 28 Damen StanPatrol 4207 coastal patrol boats, along with five 17.25-meter long Polaris II interceptor boats on June 1, 2012 – also known as Navy Day – at Veracruz.
The two StanPatrol 4207 patrol boats – ARM Tenochtitlan (PC-331) and ARM Teotihuacan (PC-332) were built at a cost of $9 million USD each at ASTIMAR 1 in Tampico, Tamaulipas and completed in April and May 2012.
The Tenochtitlan-class patrol boats have a length of 42.80 meters, a beam of 7.11 meters, an estimated draft of 2.5 meters and an estimated displacement of around 250 tons. Powered by two Caterpillar 3512 diesels, they have a top speed of 25 knots, a range of 1800 nautical miles (nm), and an endurance of 14 days. They are fitted with a stern ramp launched rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) and armed with two 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns. Complement is 18 persons.
While Damen will not comment, Mexican sources suggest that three more StanPatrol 4207s are under construction.
The Tenochtitlan-class patrol boats are slated to replace and supplement older patrol craft such as the two ex-U.S. Coast Guard Cape-class patrol boats and ten surviving (of a class of thirty one) 32.2-meter, 150-ton Azteca-class patrol boats – some of which have been in service for 38 years.
For Damen, the Mexican Navy is the twelvth customer for its StanPatrol 4207 series of “enlarged” patrol boats, of which there are at least 26 in service worldwide, with close to another 100 under construction or on option, the majority of them for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The five Polaris II interceptors – ARM Albireo (PI-1410), Alnitak (PI-1411), Mintaka (PI-1412), Alfirk (PI-1413) and Alderamin (PI-1414) – were built at ASTIMAR 3 in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz to a Swedish Combat Boat 90 HMN design. These craft cost $2 million USD each. They are the latest inductions in a planned class of at least 17 vessels. Another unnamed Polaris II is understood to be building at ASTIMAR 3 for delivery by December 2012.
The Polaris IIs have a top speed of 50 knots and a range of 350 nm. They are to be fitted with a 12.7 mm (.50 caliber) remote-controlled machine gun – most likely Oto Melara’s Hitrole turret. They have a complement of four and can carry 18 Marines.
Besides the patrol boat program, the Mexican Navy expects to take delivery of a second 100-meter long, 3666-ton Logistic/Landing Ship Tank ARM Libertador (BAL-02) by November 2012 from shipbuilder ASTIMAR 20 in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca.
However, plans to acquire one or two more OPVs and a few more Polaris II interceptors have had to be shelved for the time being due to funding issues, according to Director General of Naval Construction Vice Adm. José Antonio Sierra Rodriguez.