The Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) suspended the tender to acquire nearly 30 million cartridges for the supply of the Military Police (PM), a specialized agency of the Mexican Armed Forces consisting of 12 brigades, including one. every military region in the country.
According to a related notification report from SEDENA, the decision was taken at the end of February this year, when the officers and managers responsible for the process of inviting at least three people checked the list of companies called (International Business Group) LLC, the Mexican Industrias Tecnos SA de Ag (Aguila Ammunition) and also North American Atlas America Group LLC) and did not find any electronic data from any of them on the government acquisitions search platform.
The company that no data or electronic references were found is Atlas America Group LLC, one of three companies that managed to meet all the requirements to compete for the acquisition of two batches of ammunition: one in 17.5 million . 5.56 x 45 mm SS -109 for FX-05 Xiuhcoatl rifles and another with 12 million bullets of caliber 9 x 19 mm for Sig Sauer pistols.
This was the second time SEDENA resumed the cartridge purchase process after the acquisition was suspended in October 2020 after it was discovered that the invited companies did not meet the quality and technical requirements required for the products. Now the Lieutenant Colonel of Procurement, Ral Esparza Gurrola of the Military Police Corps, Francisco Guerrero Ibarra, and the Lieutenant of the Office, Plutarco Olvera Alvarado, reported on the stay of the proceedings, citing a technical aspect and quoting an article of the Procurement Act in which It is stated that at least three guests must be present, among whom the winner will be determined.
Since there are technically not at least three competitors, the procedure will be declared invalid and suspended until further notice and prior notice. In March of this year, we reported on this ammunition purchase project, which was due to the inability of the SEDENA military industry to produce ammunition as their production facility was relocated to a municipality in the state of Puebla.
The Secretariat aims to acquire a batch of 17 million cartridges caliber 5.56 x 45 mm Bullet SS-109 for the FX-05 Xiuhcoatl rifles nationally manufactured and a further batch of ammunition caliber 9 x 19 mm FMJ for Sig Sauer small arms is equipped with the assault rifles GN and MP5-H & K.
The purchase amount calculated by the National Defense is 285.6 million pesos (11.5 million euros); separately, the purchase of the cartridges is estimated at 172.5 million pesos for the batch of 17.5 million ammunition caliber 5.56 x 45 millimeters and 73.7 million pesos for 12 million ammunition caliber 9 x 19 millimeters.
As published at the time, the original call for tenders was launched in October last year, but did not materialize and was repeated by SEDENA a few weeks ago. It was pointed out that, in principle, 33 companies had been asked for an offer in order to determine affordable prices. Six companies responded to the requested offer: the Chinese manufacturer Norinco North Industries Corp; United States’ International Business Group LLC; Industrias Tecnos SA de CV (Aguila Ammunition) in Mexico; Atlas America Group LLC; the North American steel Hunter Latam Buying Group Corp. (based in Miami, Florida) and Essex International Trading Inc.
Of these companies, Norinco, Stahl and Essex failed to meet the delivery deadlines set by SEDENA, so their proposals were rejected by the Mexican Army.
The three remaining companies were on the list of those who were able to supply the Mexican army with 29.5 million cartridges, as they initially met the requirements for delivery times and the technical requirements for the cartridge type of the SEDENA and the National Guard.
The Mexican Army requires that the cartridges of caliber 5.56 x 45 mm be equipped with an FMJ warhead bullet with a steel and lead core. Bullet jacket made of brass 90/10, bullet length 22.24 to 23.00 millimeters, with Bxer type capsule and ammunition length of 56.70 millimeters to 57.40 millimeters. The average speed of the ammunition should be 920 + – 18 meters per second.
For cartridges of caliber 9 x 19 mm, the warhead projectile must be FMJ with a lead core, the projectile jacket must be 90/10, the weight of the projectile must be 8.03 grams + – 0.04 (124 grains), in a capsule of the type Bxer with an ammunition length of 29.25 to 29 millimeters and an average speed of 337 + – meters per second.
SEDENA manufactures cartridges with a caliber of 5.56 x 45 mm in the Industria Militar plant. However, the ongoing move to the state of Puebla has delayed production of several products, including cartridges for light weapons. In its explanation and justification for the purchase of the 29.5 million cartridges, SEDENA points out that these are necessary due to the creation and reorganization of operational units of this armed institute and in which no cartridges can be delivered in the General Warehouses (Santa) Luca , State of Mexico)
SEDENA confirms in the technical details of the tender that the General Directorate for the Military Industry is not in a position to produce the amount of ammunition by the required date.
The Mexican Army currently has 214,157 elements. In its structure there are 12 military police brigades (each made up of just over 3,000 elements), one for each military region. In April 20202 the National Guard received 50 Sig Sauer caliber 9-mm pistols and put a crew of 1,212 Cheyenne pickups into operation for their then 70,000 soldiers. Today the company has 98,000 items in 155 territorial coordinations in different parts of the country. In the document in which the proceedings were suspended, SEDENA did not specify an anticipated date to replace the invitation to purchase ammunition. (Jorge Alejandro Medelln)
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