The US State Department cleared the possible sale of eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Mexico for $1.2 billion on 19 April.

The order also includes spare engines, radios and navigation equipment. Weapons and targeting equipment also included in the possible purchase are 1,000 SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys; 10 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System II rockets; 30 Mk-54 lightweight hybrid torpedoes; 12 M-240D machine guns; and 12 GAU-21 machine guns.

“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,” says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. “The MH-60R multi-mission helicopter will enable Mexico to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions, and secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.”

The Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk is the US Navy’s version of the US Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk. The potential acquisition of the helicopters is part of a modernization push by Mexico’s armed forces, according to the DSCA.