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Mexican Navy

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Title: Mexican Navy  
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Mexican Navy

Mexican Navy
(Armada de México)
Active January 19, 1821
Country  Mexico
Type Navy
Size 56,000 personnel
Part of Secretary of The Navy
Anniversaries June 1, National Navy Day[1]

Mexican Revolution

Mexican-American War

World War II

Mexican Drug War
Admiral Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza
Naval Jack Mexican Navy Jack

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".[2] The Navy consists of about 56,000 men and women plus reserves,[3] over 189 ships, and about 130 aircraft.[4][5] 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) and extensive coastline (11,122 km), 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.


  • History 1
    • Historical ships 1.1
  • Organization 2
    • Naval Infantry 2.1
    • Search and rescue units 2.2
    • Maritime Role 2.3
  • Training and education 3
  • Modernization and budget 4
    • Ships 4.1
      • Shipbuilding 4.1.1
    • Missiles 4.2
    • Radar modernization 4.3
  • Present fleet 5
  • Modern equipment 6
  • Individual weapons and equipment 7
  • Artillery 8
  • Aircraft inventory 9
  • Future 10
    • 2014 10.1
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Depiction of Lieutenant José Azueta's defense of Veracruz during the Second U.S. intervention in Mexico.

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 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.[6]

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 (1846–48)
The Second French Intervention (1862–1867)
The Mexican Revolution (1910–1919)

Second invasion by the United States (April 9, 1914 – November 23, 1914)

Historical ships


The President of Mexico is commander in chief of all military forces. Day-to-day control of the Navy lies with the Navy Secretary, currently Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza. In Mexico there is no joint forces 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 8 regions (4 on the Pacific coast, 3 on the Mexican Gulf coast and the Región Naval Central, grouping the naval forces, based in and around the capitol Mexico city, such as the 7th Naval Infantry Brigade, the Central Special Operations Group and the Air Transport Squadron), 13 zones, and 14 naval sectors.

The Navy is divided into three main services designated as "forces":

Other notable services include:

Officers are trained at the Mexican Naval Academy, called the "Heroica Escuela Naval Militar" ("Heroic Military Naval School"), located in Antón Lizardo, Veracruz.

Mexican marines displaying three different camouflage patterns used by the Mexican marine corps.

Naval Infantry

The Special Forces groups.[7] The Naval Infantry are responsible for port security, protection of the ten-kilometer coastal fringe, and patrolling major waterways.

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 (2 per station, and one 47-Foot Motor Lifeboat coastal guard ships). Other stations will be provided only with Defender class boats.[8]

Maritime Role

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.[9][10] The main task of UNAPROPs is to ensure Maritime surveillance and inspection.[11]

Training and education

A Mexican marine fast ropes onto the flight deck of the German Combat Support Ship Frankfurt Am Main (A1412) during a simulated multi-national maritime interdiction operation
A BO-105 helicopter of the Mexican Navy

The Navy offers several options for graduate studies in their educational institutions:

Heroica Escuela Naval Militar

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 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 Navy as well as staff from the Federal Preventive Police and Naval personnel from various countries of Central America. This school is located on Veracruz.[12]

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 1 to 3 proportion of the national budget relative to the Army & Air Force. For the year 2007, the Army got three billion dollars budget, versus one billion dollars for the Navy. The Navy has a reputation for being well-run and well-organized. This reputation allows for a close relationship with the U.S. Navy, as evidenced by the procurement of numerous former USN ships.


CB 90 HMN - Polaris class patrol interceptor

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 oceanic patrol vessels (OPV) with a length of 86 meters, 1680 tons and each housing a Eurocopter Panther helicopter as well as small high speed interception boats. The budget for this project is above $200 million USD.

Another project is to build 12 CB 90 HMN high speed (50 knots) interception boats under license from a Swedish boat company 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 5 shipyards located in the Gulf of Mexico and 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 kilometers 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".[13]

Radar modernization

In 2009, the Mexican Navy will begin 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.[14][15]

Present fleet

Class Image Type Ships Origin
Quetzalcoatl class Multipurpose destroyer D102 Netzahualcoyotl  United States
Manuel Azueta class Air-defence destroyer D111 Manuel Azueta  United States
Allende class Multipurpose frigate F211 Ignacio Allende
F212 Mariano Abasolo
F213 Guadalupe Victoria
F214 Francisco Javier Mina
 United States
Bravo class Multipurpose frigate F201 Nicolás Bravo
F202 Hermenegildo Galeana
 United States
Amphibious ships
Papaloapan class Tank landing ship A411 Papaloapan
A412 Usumacinta
 United States
Panuco class Tank landing ship A402 Manzanillo  United States
Montes Azules class Landing ship BAL01 Montes Azules
BAL02 Libertador (construction completed, inaugurated on Sep,10,2012)[16]
Missile corvettes
Huracan class Anti-ship corvette A301 Huracán
A302 Tormenta
Mine counter-measure
Banderas class Minesweeper Banderas
 United States
Ocean patrol vessels
Oaxaca class patrol vessel Ocean patrol vessels P161 Oaxaca
P162 Baja California
P163 Independencia
P164 Revolución
P165 Chiapas[17]
P166 Hidalgo[18]
Durango class patrol vessel Ocean patrol vessels P151 Durango
P152 Sonora
P153 Guanajuato
P154 Veracruz
Sierra class corvette Ocean patrol vessels P141 Sierra
P143 Prieto
P144 Romero
Holzinger class patrol vessel Ocean patrol vessels P131 Holzinger
P132 Godínez
P133 De la Vega
P134 Berriozabal
Uribe class patrol vessel Ocean patrol vessels P121 Uribe
P122 Azueta
P123 Baranda
P124 Bretón
P125 Blanco
P126 Monasterio
Valle class patrol vessel 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
Coastal patrol ships
Tenochtitlán class[19][20] Coastal patrol PC331 ARM Tenochtitlan
PC332 ARM Teotihuacan
PC333 ARM Palenque
PC334 ARM Mitla
PC335 ARM Uxmal
PC336 ARM Tajin[21]
PC337 ARM Tulum[22]
Based on Damen Stan Patrol 4207 - 7th. vessel ordered October 2014  Netherlands
TBD class Coastal patrol PC Based on Damen Fast Crew Supplier 5009 - Ordered October 2014  Netherlands
Azteca class Coastal patrol PC202 Cordova
PC206 Rayón
PC207 Rejón
PC208 De la Fuente
PC209 Guzmán
PC210 Ramírez
PC211 Mariscal
PC212 Jara
PC214 Colima
PC215 Lizardi
PC216 Mugica
PC218 Velazco
PC220 Macías
PC223 Tamaulipas
PC224 Yucatán
PC225 Tabasco
PC226 Cochimie
PC228 Puebla
PC230 Vicario
PC231 Ortíz
 United Kingdom
Demócrata class Coastal patrol PC241 Demócrata
PC242 Francisco I. Madero
Cabo class Coastal patrol PC271 Corriente
PC272 Corso
PC273 Catoche
Punta class Coastal patrol PC-281 Morro
PC-282 Mastún
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
Auxiliary vessels
Huasteco class Multipurpose AMP01 Huasteco
AMP02 Zapoteco
Maya class Multipurpose ATR01 Maya
ATR02 Tarasco
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 allowing further units to be manufactured in Mexico.

Modern equipment

Mexican Naval Infantry Inventory
Vehicle/System Type Versions
Armoured Vehicles
BTR-60/BTR-70 Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier APC-70
Carat Security Group Armored Personnel Carrier Wolverine APC
Land Rover Armored Personnel Carrier Defender 4x4
Infantry Transport Vehicles
Ford-150[23] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 F-150 series pick up
Ford-250[23] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 F-250 series pick up
Dodge Ram[24] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 Pick up
Mercedes-Benz[25][26] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 G-class
Ural-4320 Utility Vehicle Off-road 6x6 truck
UNIMOG U-4000[27][28] Utility Vehicle 4x4 truck
Gama Goat Amphibious 6-wheeled vehicle 6x6 truck
Freightliner M2[29] Utility Vehicle 4x2 truck

Individual weapons and equipment

Mexican Naval Inventory
Name Versions Type
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
Beretta 9×19mm 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[30] 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
CIS 40 AGL 40mm Grenade machine gun
Milkor MGL 40mm Grenade launcher
M203 grenade launcher 40mm Grenade launcher
Remington 1100 12 Shotgun


Mexican Naval Inventory
Name Versions Type
Self-propelled artillery
Bofors L70 40mm Anti-aircraft artillery
Oerlikon 20mm Anti-aircraft artillery
Shipboard anti-aircraft artillery
Phalanx CIWS 20mm Close In Weapons System
Multiple rocket launchers
FIROS 122mm Multiple Launch Rocket System
Towed artillery
OTO Melara Mod 56 105mm Towed howitzer
K6 120mm Heavy mortar
M29 81mm Medium mortar
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
Anti-shipping missile
Gabriel Mk. II Anti-shipping missile
Anti-aircraft missiles
SA-18 72.2mm Anti-aircraft missile
Sea Sparrow RIM-7 Anti-aircraft missile
Light anti-tank weapons
RPG-75 Anti-tank weapon 68mm
B300 Anti-tank weapon 82mm

Aircraft inventory

The aircraft quantities are approximate,[31][32] and estimated to be 68 airplanes and 54 helicopters.[33][34]

Aircraft Type Versions In service Image
Combat aircraft
Valmet L-90 Combat/Counter Insurgency L-90TP 8
Zlin Z-242 Training Z-242L 8[35]
Maule M-7 Training MX-7-180A 8
Beechcraft T-6 Texan II Training T-6C+ 2 [36][37]
Antonov An-32 Tactical transport An-32B 3
CASA C-295[38][39][40] Tactical transport C295M 6
Bombardier Dash 8 Tactical transport DH-8 1
Turbo Commander Transport 980 Turbo 4
Learjet VIP transport LJ25 1
Learjet VIP transport LJ31 2
Learjet VIP transport LJ60 1
Gulfstream IV VIP transport G450 1
Reconnaissance and intelligence
CASA C-212 Surveillance C-212-400 7[41]
CASA CN-235 Surveillance CN-235MP 300 3
Lancair Reconnaissance IV-P
Super ES
Legacy 2000
King Air 350 Surveillance King Air 350ER 3, 2 on order[37][42][43]
Eurocopter Fennec Search & rescue AS555AF 2
Eurocopter Panther Combat AS656MB 4
Eurocopter EC 725 Transport EC725 3/3 pending delivery
Bölkow Bo 105 Surveillance EC-Super Five 11
MD Helicopters MD 500 Training MD-500 4
Mil Mi-2 Transport Mi-2 Hopite 1
Mil Mi-17 Transport Mi-17IV/V5 23
MD Helicopters MD Explorer Combat MD-902 6
Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk Transport and combat UH-60M 3[44][45]
UAV SEMAR Reconnaissance/Intelligence T1 / T2 / T3 3
Future acquisitions
EADS CASA surveillance CASA CN-235 8[44][46][47][48]
Mi-17 Transport helicopter Mi-17V5 3[49]


For the year 2008 budget, the Mexican Congress approved a $15 million USD funds to build only 17 out of 60 combat boats requested. These ships, designated CB 90 HMN, are to increase its fast boat fleet. Additional budgets will be awarded each passing year.[50] In total, the Mexican Navy has over 189 operational ships.[4]

In January 2013, the 112th Session of US Congress authorized the transfer of the Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates USS Curts and USS McClusky to the Mexican Navy,[51] 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 US Navy prior to transfer, this is still undecided by Mexico. The offer will expire on 1 January 2016.[51]


On March 25, 2014. Beechcraft Corporation received an order of 2 T-6C+ military trainers from the Mexican Navy.[52]

On June 24, 2014. The Mexican Government requested the purchase of 5 UH-60Ms in USG configuration from the U.S., it's estimated cost is $225 million.[53] 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 which ship is to be armed with Mk 3s is still unknown.[54]

See also


  1. ^ "Día de la Marina". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mission and objectives" (Spanish)
  3. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b [2] Rendición de cuentas SEMAR 2006 página 40
  5. ^ "Material Aereo"(outdated page) (Spanish)
  6. ^ History of the Mexican Navy ships
  7. ^ Informe 2009 Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México
  8. ^ "Textron Systems Brand Change". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mexican Navy increasing coast guard capabilities". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Noticieros Televisa. "Crea Marina Unidades Navales de Protección Portuaria". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Unidades de Marina vigilarán 19 puertos del país a partir del martes". Excélsior. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  12. ^ SIAL Sistema Informativo Aeronáutico Latinoamericano
  13. ^ Mexican Naval missile (Spanish)
  14. ^ "En marzo iniciarán operaciones radares de la Armada" (in Spanish). NOTIMEX. Dec 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  15. ^ "ThalesRaytheonSystems receives contract to support Mexican homeland security, protect Gulf oil infrastructure". Thales Raytheon Systems. May 11, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Fourth Damen Stan Patrol 4207 patrol vessel for Mexican Navy". August 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Mexican Navy contracts Damen for fifth Tenochtitlan-class Patrol Vessel (Stan Patrol 4207)". December 12, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Mexican Navy orders sixth Tenochtitlan-class Patrol Vessel (Stan Patrol 4207) from DAMEN". April 1, 2014. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "Recibe Semar vehículos para incrementar capacidad operativa". EL INFORMADOR. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Secretaria de Marina - Armada de México". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ Mexican Navy Aircraft
  32. ^ Mexican Navy's new purchases
  33. ^ Aranda, Jesus (14 December 2009). "La flota de Ejército y Armada consta de 480 aeronaves". La Jornada (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  34. ^ Raúl Benítez Manaut, Abelardo Rodríguez Sumano, Armando Rodríguez Luna (2009). Atlas de la Seguridad y la Defensa de México 2009. México D. F.: Colectivo de Analisis de la Seguridad con Democracia (CASEDE). pp. 369 pp.  
  35. ^ Moravan in the Armada de México
  36. ^ "Mexican Navy Places Initial Order for Beechcraft T-6C+ Trainers". April 3, 2014. 
  37. ^ a b "Beechcraft". Beechcraft Newsroom. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  38. ^ "Photo Search Results". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Persuader Patrol Planes for Mexico’s Maritime". Defense Industry Daily. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  42. ^ Mexican navy acquires first of four King Air 350ERs -, 15 July 2014
  43. ^ "La Armada de México recibe once aeronaves decomisadas al narcotráfico - Noticias Infodefensa América". 13 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  44. ^ a b Blackhawks ready to fly for the Mexican Navy. (25 August 2011)
  45. ^ "Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters for Mexico". April 22, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Global Defence News and Defence Headlines - IHS Jane's 360". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  47. ^ Seis CN-235-300 Persuader para la Armada de México
  48. ^ "Presupuesto multimillonario para asegurar la viabilidad del Estado". La Jornada (in Spanish). 10 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  49. ^ "México compra a Rusia tres helicópteros polivalentes Mi-17 según fuente militar" (in Spanish). 
  50. ^ It was published within the Chapter 13 of the SEMAR 2008 final budget, by the SHCP, the Mexican finance ministry for this period.
  51. ^ a b "H.R. 6649 (112th): Naval Vessels Transfer Act of 2012". USA 112th CONGRESS, 2nd. session, H. R. 6649. January 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  52. ^ "Textron - Mexican Navy places initial order for Beechcraft T-6C+ trainers". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  53. ^ "Mexico - UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters - The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  54. ^ "Newsroom - BAE Systems". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 

External links

  • Secretary of the Navy Official site (Spanish)
  • Naval Infantry official site (Spanish)
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