The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of US $98.4 million worth of missiles and other military equipment to Mexico.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the Mexican government had requested to buy six RGM-84L Harpoon Block II surface launched missiles, 23 Block II RAM tactical missiles and six MK 54 Mod 0 lightweight torpedoes and related equipment.
The DSCA said in a press release that “this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations.”
The purchase will strengthen the maritime capabilities of the Mexican Navy, which will use the equipment to expand its existing support of national security requirements and combat criminal organizations.
The State Department said the sale was advantageous for the United States because it would “increase the Mexican Navy’s maritime partnership potential and align its capabilities with existing regional navies,” noting that the military balance of the region would not be altered if the transaction is certified by the U.S. Congress.
The purchase of missiles and other military equipment also includes personnel training and training equipment, technical assistance by the U.S. government and its contractor representatives, and engineering and logistics support and installation.
If finalized, the transaction between the militaries of both countries will also require annual trips to Mexico involving U.S. government personnel and contractor representatives for technical reviews, support and oversight for approximately two years.
Approval by the U.S. Congress could come as soon as next Friday.