Military Wiki
Mexican Navy
(Armada de México)
LOGO Marina Armada de Mexico NEGRO.svg
Active January 19, 1821
Country  United Mexican States
Type Navy
Size 56,000 personnel
Part of Secretary of The Navy
Anniversaries June 1st.[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.


Azueta's defense of Veracruz

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.A. 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
  • Takeover of the San Juan de Ulúa fort (1821–1825)
  • The invasion of Cabo Rojo (1829)
  • Battle of Mariel

The first French intervention in Mexico (The 'Pastry War') (November 1838 - March 1839)

  • An entire Armada was captured at Veracruz
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

  • Schooner Anáhuac
  • Schooner Iguala
  • Cutter Campechana
  • Cutter Chalco
  • Cutter Chapala
  • Cutter Orizaba
  • Cutter Texcoco
  • Cutter Zumpango
  • Cutter Papaloapan
  • Cutter Tampico
  • Cutter Tlaxcalteca
  • Cutter Tuxpan
  • Ship Congreso Mexicano (previously called Asia and San Jerónimo)
  • Brigantine Constante
  • Brigantine Vicente Guerrero
  • Steamer Guadalupe
  • Steamer Gunboat Libertad

  • Steamer Gunboat Independencia
  • Steamer Guerra Demócrata
  • Gunboat Democráta
  • Gunboat México
  • Corvette Zaragoza
  • School Ship Yucatán
  • Pontoon Chetumal
  • Gunboat Tampico
  • Gunboat Veracruz
  • Gunboat Nicolás Bravo
  • Transport Vessel Progreso
  • Transport Vicente Guerrero
  • Gunboat Agua Prieta
  • Coastal defence Battleship Anáhuac
  • Auxiliary Ship Zaragoza II
  • School Ship Velero Cuauhtémoc


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[when?] 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 7 regions, 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 Mexican Naval Infantry Corps was reorganized in 2007-2009 into 30 Naval Infantry Battalions (Batallones de Infantería de Marina - BIM), a paratroop battalion, a battalion attached to the Presidential Guard Brigade, two Fast Reaction Forces with six battalions each, and three 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]

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.[9]

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:

  • Gulf of Mexico
    • Naval shipyard 1 (ASTIMAR 1) - Tampico, Tamaulipas
    • Naval shipyard 3 (ASTIMAR 3) - Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz
  • Pacific Ocean
    • Naval shipyard 6 (ASTIMAR 6) - Guaymas, Sonora
    • Naval shipyard 18 (ASTIMAR 18) - Acapulco, Guerrero
    • Naval shipyard 20 (ASTIMAR 20) - Salina Cruz, Oaxaca


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".[10]

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.[11][12]

Present fleet

Class Image Type Ships Origin
Quetzalcoatl class ARM Netzahualcoyotl0586325.jpg Multipurpose destroyer D102 Netzahualcoyotl United States
Manuel Azueta class Air-defence destroyer D111 Manuel Azueta United States
Allende class ARM Mina Frigate 214.JPG Multipurpose frigate F211 Ignacio Allende
F212 Mariano Abasolo
F213 Guadalupe Victoria
F214 Francisco Javier Mina
United States
Bravo class Mexican frigate ARM Hermenegildo Galeana (F 202) at Manzanillo on 21 August 2007.jpg Multipurpose frigate F201 Nicolás Bravo
F202 Hermenegildo Galeana
United States
Amphibious ships
Papaloapan class US Navy 050909-N-8154G-180 The Mexican Navy amphibious ship Papaloapan (P-411) sits off the coast of Mississippi preparing to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts along the Gulf Coast.jpg 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)[13]
Missile corvettes
Huracan class Israel mexico navy ceremony.jpg Anti-ship corvette A301 Huracán
A302 Tormenta
Mine counter-measure
Banderas class Minesweeper Banderas
United States
Ocean patrol vessels
Oaxaca class patrol vessel A.R.M. Oaxaca (P161).JPG Ocean patrol vessels P161 Oaxaca
P162 Baja California
P163 Independencia
P164 Revolución
Durango class patrol vessel ARM Durango.jpg Ocean patrol vessels P151 Durango
P152 Sonora
P153 Guanajuato
P154 Veracruz
Sierra class corvette Marina Michoacán.jpg Ocean patrol vessels P141 Sierra
P143 Prieto
P144 Romero
Holzinger class patrol vessel Ocean patrol vessels P131 Holzinguer
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
Mexican Navy 42 metre patrol vessel[14] The Iliria, an Albanian Damen Stan type 4207 patrol vessel.jpg Coastal patrol PC331 ARM Tenochtitlan
PC332 ARM Teotihuacan
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 PC240 Demócrata
PC241 Francisco I. Madero
Cabo class Coastal patrol PC271 Corriente
PC272 Corso
PC273 Catoche
Punta class Coastal patrol PC-281 Morro
PC-282 Mastún
Tenochtitlán class Coastal patrol PC-331 Tenochtitlán
PC-332 Teotihuacán
Polaris class ARM Armelnath 3.jpg Patrol 44 In service  Sweden
Polaris II class ARM Armelnath 3.jpg 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

Other ships/Future ships

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.

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.[15] 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,[16] 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 in 3 years (1 January 2016).[16]

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[17] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 F-150 series pick up
Ford-250[17] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 F-250 series pick up
Dodge Ram[18] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 Pick up
Mercedes-Benz[19][20] Light Utility Vehicle 4x4 G-class
Ural-4320[citation needed] Utility Vehicle Off-road 6x6 truck
UNIMOG U-4000[21][22] Utility Vehicle 4x4 truck
Gama Goat[citation needed] Amphibious 6-wheeled vehicle 6x6 truck
Freightliner M2[23] Utility Vehicle 4x2 truck

Individual weapons and equipment

Mexican Naval Inventory
Name Versions Type
M16A2 rifle 5.56x45mm NATO Assault rifle
M4 Carbine 5.56x45mm NATO Assault rifle
IMI Galil 5.56x45mm NATO Assault rifle
Heckler & Koch MP5 9x19mm Submachine gun
Heckler & Koch UMP .45 ACP Submachine gun
FN P90 5.7x28mm Submachine gun
Colt M1911 .45 ACP Pistol
Beretta 9x19mm Pistol
Heckler & Koch MSG90 7.62x51mm NATO Sniper rifle
Barrett M82 .50 BMG Sniper rifle
Remington 700 7.62x51mm NATO Sniper rifle
FN Minimi 5.56x45mm NATO Machine gun
CETME Ameli[24] 5.56x45mm NATO Machine gun
GAU-19 12.7x99 NATO Heavy machine gun
M2 Browning machine gun 12.7x99mm NATO Heavy machine gun
M134 7.62x51mm 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


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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,[25][26] and estimated to be 68 airplanes and 54 helicopters.[27][28]

Aircraft Type Versions In service Image
Combat aircraft
Valmet L-90 Combat/Counter Insurgency L-90TP 8
Redigo 01.jpg
Zlin Z-242 Training Z-242L 8[29]
Maule M-7 Training MX-7-180A 8
Antonov An-32 Tactical transport An-32B 3
Mexican Navy Antonov An-32B 2009 Belyakov.jpg
CASA C-295[30] Tactical transport C295M 4
Bombardier Dash 8 Tactical transport DH-8 1
Turbo Commander Transport 980 Turbo 4
Aero Commander.jpg
Learjet VIP transport LJ25 1
Learjet 25 der NASA.jpg
Learjet VIP transport LJ31 2
Learjet VIP transport LJ60 1
Gulfstream IV VIP transport G450 1 G450-AMT-205-0310.jpg
Reconnaissance and intelligence
CASA C-212 Surveillance C-212-400 7[31]
CASA CN 212-200 N497CA 13.JPG
CASA CN-235 Surveillance CN-235MP 300 3
Irish Air Corps CASA aircraft, Newcastle, County Down, August 2010 (01).JPG
Lancair Reconnaissance IV-P
Super ES
Legacy 2000
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
Mexican BO-105 Bolkow helicopter fires 2.75 inch high-explosive rockets at the ex-USS Connolly (DD 979).jpg
MD Helicopters MD 500 Training MD-500 4
Md helicopters md-500e g-sscl arp.jpg
Mil Mi-2 Transport Mi-2 Hopite 1
Krzesiny 106RB.JPG
Mil Mi-17 Transport Mi-17IV/V5 23
MD Helicopters MD Explorer Combat MD-902 6
Calstar MD Explorer 02.jpg
Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk Transport and combat UH-60M 3[32]
UAV SEMAR Reconnaissance/Intelligence T1 / T2 / T3 3
Future acquisitions
EADS CASA surveillance CASA CN-235 8[32][33][34][35]
Irish Air Corps CASA aircraft, Newcastle, County Down, August 2010 (01).JPG
Mi-17 Transport helicopter Mi-17V5 3[36]

See also


  2. "Mission and objectives" (Spanish)
  4. 4.0 4.1 [1] 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
  9. SIAL Sistema Informativo Aeronáutico Latinoamericano
  10. Mexican Naval missile (Spanish)
  11. "En marzo iniciarán operaciones radares de la Armada" (in Spanish). NOTIMEX. Dic 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  12. "ThalesRaytheonSystems receives contract to support Mexican homeland security, protect Gulf oil infrastructure". Thales Raytheon Systems. May 11, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  14. "Fourth Damen Stan Patrol 4207 patrol vessel for Mexican Navy". August 23, 2013. 
  15. It was published within the Chapter 13 of the SEMAR 2008 final budget, by the SHCP, the Mexican finance ministry for this period.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "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. 
  17. 17.0 17.1
  25. Mexican Navy Aircraft
  26. Mexican Navy's new purchases
  27. Aranda, Jesus (14 de diciembre de 2009). "La flota de Ejército y Armada consta de 480 aeronaves" (in Spanish). La Jornada. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 
  28. 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.. ISBN 978-607-95380-0-2. 
  29. Moravan in the Armada de México
  32. 32.0 32.1 Blackhawks ready to fly for the Mexican Navy. (25 August 2011)
  33. Mexican Navy's budget increases by a fifth
  34. Seis CN-235-300 Persuader para la Armada de México
  35. "Presupuesto multimillonario para asegurar la viabilidad del Estado" (in Spanish). La Jornada. 10 de septiembre de 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  36. "México compra a Rusia tres helicópteros polivalentes Mi-17 según fuente militar" (in Spanish). 

External links

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