Damen delivers Long Range Ocean Patrol Vessel to Mexican Navy

The Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico (SEMAR) has taken delivery of the Long Range Ocean Patrol (POLA) Class vessel ARM Reformador. The POLA 101 is said to be the most technologically advanced vessel in Latin America and was built in Mexico under the Damen Technical Cooperation.

The vessel will allow the Mexican Navy to carry out missions such as safeguarding Mexican sovereignty, international security cooperation, law enforcement, long range search and rescue operations and humanitarian aid. POLA will allow the United Mexican States to increase the surveillance coverage and the protection of their maritime interests beyond the five million square kilometres of Mexican jurisdictional waters.

SIGMA design

The vessel has been delivered in a record time, in less than three years after contract signing. The 107-metre long vessel is based on Damen’s SIGMA Frigate 10514 and is the tenth of its kind. The Royal Netherlands Navy can be seen as the launching customer of eight generations of Damen combatants.

SIGMA is a proven design that benefits from the wealth of knowledge possessed by the Dutch naval shipbuilding industry. This comprises world-renowned research institutes such as the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) and a dedicated naval cluster of international specialist suppliers including seventy Dutch companies, including Thales. For the POLA, this cluster worked alongside various local Mexican companies, delivering valuable supplies and assistance during the construction of the vessel.

Modular building process

The Damen SIGMA design is conceived to be built modularly anywhere in the world and in more than one location simultaneously. For the Mexican project, two out of the six modules were built at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) in the Netherlands. A Mexican team has been based in the Netherlands to supervise this process and to receive an intensive knowledge transfer.

The remaining four modules were built at Astimar 20 in Salina Cruz by the Mexican production team, subcontractors and suppliers. Upon completion, the six different modules were brought together for final assembly, integration, commissioning and trials with assistance from Damen, including an intensive transfer of technology and training programme.

The ARM Reformador (POLA-101) is the thirteenth Damen vessel for the Mexican Navy. Previous deliveries include everything from patrol vessels to logistic support ships and one Damen Cutter Suction Dredger 650. Through the Damen Technical Cooperation business model, Damen has been able to successfully contribute to the Mexican shipbuilding industry by building high quality vessels locally.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.