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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launches Sixth Mogami-class Frigate JS Agano (FFM-6)


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launches Sixth Mogami-class Frigate JS Agano (FFM-6)

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launches Sixth Mogami-class Frigate JS Agano (FFM-6)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launches Sixth Mogami-class Frigate JS Agano (FFM-6)

Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki launch the six Mogami-class vessel JS Agano (FFM-6). Also known as FFM, it is a next generation frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The vessel is named after the Agano River which a river in the Hokuriku region of Honshu, Japan. All ships of the Mogami-class are named after famous rivers in Japan. JS Agano is being built for about 47 billion yen ($346 million) under a contract awarded in February 2021, The shipyard will now proceed to the fitting out stage of the frigate, ahead of its delivery and commissioning set for the end of 2023.

The Mogami-class frigates are 133m-long, 16.3m wide and 9m deep and have a standard displacement of 3,900t. Besides, the multi-role vessels Powered by a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) propulsion system featuring two MAN 12V28/33D STC diesel engines and one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine, the ships are expected to be capable of attaining a top speed of at least 30 kt. The Mogami class marks the first installment of a CODAG system on any JMSDF ship. They can accommodate a crew of up to 90 (out of whom 10 are female) personnel. The ship will require fewer crew members compared with other frigate classes.

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Mogami-class Frigate JS Agano (FFM-6)
Mogami-class Frigate JS Agano (FFM-6)

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force plans to build 10 ships of the Mogami class under its Mid-Term Defense Program (MTDP) for fiscal years 2019-23, which was approved in December 2018. The overall intent of the Mogami-class design is to achieve a modern frigate-sized vessel with capabilities similar to the Akizuki-class destroyer but with a reduced crew and having only half the VLS cells. The first four vessels of this class are JS Mogami (FFM-1), Kumano (FFM-2), JS Noshiro (FFM-3) and JS Mikuma (FFM-4). A planned fleet of 22 Mogami-class multirole frigates for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is part of that effort.

Armaments on the frigates include a BAE Systems 5-inch (127 mm)/62-caliber or Mk 45 naval gun in the foredeck of the ship, two missile canisters for a total of eight MHI Type 17 anti-ship missiles, also known as the SSM-2, and a Raytheon 11-cell SeaRAM close-in weapon system (CIWS) that can deploy RIM-116C Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAMs). The FFM-7 and subsequent ships will be equipped with Vertical Launch System. Ships from FFM-1 to FFM-6 are commissioned without VLS and will be later equipped with VLS. The frigates feature six 324 mm torpedo tubes and the NEC OQQ-25 variable depth sonar for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations

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