Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has launched the second of a planned fleet of 22 3,900 tonne-class multirole frigates for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) at the company’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Nagasaki Prefecture. The JMSDF still regards Mogami (pennant number 1) as the first vessel of the class and Kumano as the second – based on production orders – meaning that the frigate class will be known as the Mogami class. Mogami is the first vessel of the class to be ordered by the JMSDF, although Mitsui E&S Group launched the Kumano (pennant number 2) in November 2020. Mogami was also originally scheduled to be launched last November but construction of the ship at the MHI’s facility in Nagasaki was delayed due to an issue with the frigate’s gas turbine engine. Mogami is expected to enter JMSDF service sometime in 2022
The Mogami-class frigate (also known as 30FFM, 30FF, 30DX, or 30DEX) is a Japanese stealthy multi-mission frigate in development for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The vessel has an overall length of 130 metres (426 ft 6 in), breadth of 16 metres (52 ft 6 in), a standard displacement of 3,900 metric tons (3,800 long tons) with a full load displacement of about 5,500 metric tons (5,400 long tons), and a maximum speed of over 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph). The overall design of the 30DX is to achieve a frigate-sized vessel with the capabilities similar to the Akizuki-class destroyer but with half the VLS cells. Along with stealth capabilities, the frigate also emphasizes on having a high level of automation. This allows the frigate to possess a low crew size of only 90 personnel compared to other ships of similar size.
Weapons include a Mk 45 gun, two remote weapon stations above the bridge, 16 Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) at the bow, 8 Type 17 anti-ship missiles,one SeaRAM, an SH-60L helicopter, torpedoes, and decoy launchers. The Type 17 is aship-launched derivative of Type 12 and a range of 400 km. It is also expected to use a naval version of the Type 03 Chū-SAM. The ogami-class frigate can also deploy and recover unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), unmanned surface vehicles (USV), and sea mines from the rear ramp beneath the helideck. The stealthy design of both models is based on the research and development from the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin (then ATD-X) stealth fighter technology demonstrator, as both platforms are designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.