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The Mexican Navy has launched its new Tenochtitlan-class patrol vessel, ARM Tulum (PC-337), during a ceremony at its Astimar 1 yard in Tampico.

The vessel is the seventh in the series, and will be assigned to perform a series of tasks, including conducting surveillance operations, interdiction, deterrence, and search, rescue, combating illegal activities at sea, as well as ensuring safety of civilians in the Mexican maritime zones.

Navy secretary Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberon Sanz said: "Through shipbuilding, the navy creates jobs in this important sector, a sector that requires our utmost, because as has been shown by the larger powers, it is a window of opportunity for Mexicans to find a dignified way of life and a better future."

The Mexican Navy contracted Dutch ship-builder and designer Damen in January to build another three Tenochtitlan vessels, which brings the total number of units to ten.

"The 42.8m-long patrol boats have a displacement of 239t and are modelled on the Damen Stan Patrol 4207 design."

The 42.8m-long patrol boats have a displacement of 239t and are modelled on the Damen Stan Patrol 4207 design. The maximum speed of the Damen Stan Patrol is 25k, based on 2×2 350kW, and the range at patrol speed of 10k-14k is nearly 2,000nm.

Equipped with two Caterpillar 3516C HD or MTU 16V4000 engines, the vessels also feature controllable pitch propellers, a hydraulic bow thruster, and two rudders for slow speed manoeuvring.

The vessel is fitted with artillery consisting of two .50 calibre CDP and one lifeboat.

Construction of the ship constitutes a part of the navy’s ongoing programme to replace its surface units.

Under the Communication and Transport Sector Programme 2013-2018, a total of 20 such ships are expected to be built for the Mexican Navy and merchant industry.

Image: Mexican Navy unit during the launch of the new patrol vessel. Photo: courtesy of Mexican Navy.