The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) celebrated the commissioning of Mogami-class frigate JS Kumano (FFM-2), 22 March 2022, at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and deployed to Yokosuka Naval Base. JS Kumano (FFM-2) is the second ship of the Mogami-class frigate of the JMSDF. She was named after Kumano River and shares her name with a World War II heavy cruiser Kumano and Cold War destroyer escort Kumano. Kumano was laid down on 30 October 2019 at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding, Tamano and launched on 19 November 2020. She will be expected to be commissioned in March 2022. While fitting out, her enclosed antenna was installed on 16 February 2021. She began sea trials August 24, 2021 with likely missions of island defense, homeland patrol, and international tours.
The Mogami-class (also known as FFM and previously known as 30DX) frigate is a Japanese multi-mission stealth frigate in development for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The 30DX design (although modern) is more conservative compared to the 30FF’s more radical approach. The three main factors for the design change were due to the need for affordability, miniaturization/ automation, and multi-mission capabilities. 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 frigates will be powered by a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine.
Weapons for the frigate include a Mk 45 gun, two remote weapon stations above the bridge, 16-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) at the bow, 8 anti-ship missiles, one SeaRAM, an SH-60L helicopter, torpedoes, and decoy launchers. Another capability is to deploy and recover unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), unmanned surface vehicles (USV), and sea mines from the rear ramp beneath the helo deck. The 30DX will also expect to use a naval version of the JGSDF’s Type 03 Ch?-SAM long-range AA missile. The stealthy design of both models is based on the research and development lessons learned from the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin (then: ATD-X) stealth fighter technology demonstrator, as both platforms are designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Along with stealth capabilities, the frigate also emphasizes having a high level of automation. This allows the frigate to possess a low crew size of only 90 personnel when compared to the crew complement of other ships of similar size. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries revealed their ‘Advanced Integrated CIC’ for the vessel. It will combined the wheelhouse, the managing and situational awareness room, the engine and power control room, and combat information center within a large 360-degree circular screen wall. It can display panoramic views around the ship without a blind spot on the screen, and will also utilize augmented reality technology to discriminate among the objects shown and to navigate the ship.