The Japan Maritime Self Defence Force commissioned the frigate JS Mogami (FFM-1) in a ceremony at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Nagasaki on April 28. Although JS Mogami is the lead ship in the class, it is the second Mogami-class frigate to enter service. Mogami was laid down on 29 October 2019 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki and launched on 3 March 2021, four months behind schedule because of problems with the British MT30 gas turbines. She was named after the Mogami River and shares her name with a World War II heavy cruiser Mogami and Cold War destroyer escort Mogami.
In 2015 the Japanese defense budget allocated funds to study the construction of a new “compact-type hull destroyer with additional multi-functional capabilities” as well as a new radar system for the destroyer. In the same year Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) unveiled the frigate’s first concept model (30FF) which they had been developing with their own funds. In August 2017, the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) selected MHI and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding as the prime contractor and subcontractor to construct the frigate. In addition, the agency also selected a completely new design of the vessel (30DX).
The three main factors for the design change were due to the need for affordability, miniaturization/automation, and multi-mission capabilities. the frigate to possess a low crew size of only 90 personnel when compared to the crew complement of other ships of similar size. 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 30DX 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.