Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to Mexico of six Evolved SeaSparrow surface-to-air missiles and two Evolved SeaSparrow telemetry missiles for an estimated $41 million.
The order, announced Thursday by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, includes one eight-cell MK 56 VLS launcher, eight MK30 canisters, eight MK783 shipping containers, spare parts, support and testing equipment, training and technical assistance, in addition to the missiles.
The missiles will strengthen U.S. national security by boosting the maritime capabilities for a close ally, DSCA said in a press release.
The missiles will be provided by Raytheon Missile Systems out of Tucson Ariz.
The ESSM surface-to-air missile is an international program to improve the RIM-7 SeaSparrow missile. It is designed to provide point defense against incoming high-speed anti-ship missiles.
It has a range of over 30 miles and and has advanced targeting abilities. It is a standard point-defense missile on ships across the world. Mexico intends to install it on their Sigma 10514-class guided-missile frigate.
Developed by the United States, the missile has been widely exported. It is currently being updated by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States. This would be the first purchase of the weapon by Mexico.