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Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commissions Fourth Mogami-Class Frigate Mikuma

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Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commissions Fourth Mogami-Class Frigate Mikuma

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Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commissions Fourth Mogami-Class Frigate Mikuma
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commissions Fourth Mogami-Class Frigate Mikuma

Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Maritime Systems Co., Ltd. held a flag raising ceremony” for JS Mikuma (FFM-4). JS Mikuma is the fourth ship of the Mogami-class frigates of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). She was named after the Mikuma River and shares her name with a World War II heavy cruiser Mikuma and Cold War destroyer escort Mikuma. the ship was laid down on 15 July 2020 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki and launched on 10 December 2021. Mikuma is the second ship in the class to be launched by MHI, with the previous one being the future JS Noshiro. The first two units were launched by Mitsui E&S Holdings Co., which was later taken over by MHI.

The Mogami-class frigate is a Japanese multi-mission stealth frigate 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 frigates will be powered by a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine. The stealthy design of both models is based on the development lessons learned from the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin 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.

The Ship Commissioning Ceremony of JS #MIKUMA was held at Nagasaki Shipyard, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
The Ship Commissioning Ceremony of JS MIKUMA was held at Nagasaki Shipyard, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Photo by JMSDF)

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 Chu-SAM long-range AA missile.Advanced Integrated CIC 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.

On 16 December 2022, the Japanese Ministry of Defense released its Defense Buildup Program guidance which noted that the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force plans to replace its fleet of older, less capable destroyers and destroyer escorts with Mogami-class frigates. These stealthy frigates will replace in service Asagiri class destroyers as well as Abukuma class frigates. In 2021 an agreement was signed with Indonesia to export up to 8 of these frigates to Indonesia. It was planned that 4 of frigates will be built in Japan and another 4 in Indonesia. Japan plans to build a total of 22 Mogami class frigates until 2032. Many of them will be built to improved standard.

JS MIKUMA is the 4th MOGAMI class. Her name comes from the MIKUMA River, which flows through Oita Prefecture, famous for its hot springs.
JS MIKUMA is the 4th MOGAMI class. Her name comes from the MIKUMA River, which flows through Oita Prefecture, famous for its hot springs.(Photo by JMSDF)

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