US State Department approves sale of MH-60R helicopters to Mexico

Illustration: Lockheed Martin photo of MH-60R helicopters

The US State Department has approved the sale of eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters to Mexico under a deal worth an estimated $1.20 billion.

The potential acquisition of the helicopters would boost Mexico’s ability to carry out anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions and secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.

According to an announcement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on April 19, Mexico’s purchase of helicopters would include  APS-153(V) Multi-Mode radars, Airborne Low Frequency Systems, AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe transponders, AN/AAS-44C Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems Forward Looking Infrared Systems and AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys, among other equipment.

Purchased armament would include AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, AGM-114 M36-E9 Captive Air Training missiles; Hellfire training missiles, Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) II rockets, Mk -54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedoes (LHTs) and M-240D and GAU-21 machine guns.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner,” the DSCA announcement read. “Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations. The sale of these aircraft to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen its maritime capabilities.”

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