Japan’s MHI launches ‘Mogami’ first-in-class 30FFM Frigate for the JMSDF

Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki launched “Mogami”, the first-in-class 30FFM, a next generation frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

While another shipyard, Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding located in Okayama launched the second ship of the class, Kumano, back in November 2020, Mogami is the first ship of the 30FFM class. This is because Mitsui E&S received a subcontracting order from MHI (the main contractor) for the construction of the 3,900-ton frigate for the JMSDF.

The vessel is named after the Mogami River (Mogami-gawa) located in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. According to the JMSDF “The Mogami River is said to be the “Mother’s River” because it brings many blessings to people.”

The shipyard will now proceed to the fitting out stage of the frigate, ahead of its delivery and commissioning set for 2022
30FFM (also known as FFM and previously known as 30DX) is the next generation multi-mission frigate designed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). A total number of 22 Frigates are expected to be procured for the JMSDF.

The two shipyards in charge of building the first two frigates of the class are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki and Mitsui E&S in Okayama.

The Japanese government previously ordered six frigates, and it has requested a further $951 million for two more ships in its latest defense budget request.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has an eventual requirement for 22 frigates, which will be built by both MHI and Mitsui.

30FFM frigate

The 30FFM, which was previously classed as a destroyer and given the designation 30DX, is a 435-foot-long design that displaces 3,900 tons, but 5,500 tons when fully loaded. It features a stealthy design for reduced radar cross-section and the ability to launch, operate and recover unmanned surface and underwater vessels.

Both frigate designs has been showcased in four naval exhibitions to attract potential export customers. The 30FF has been shown in PACIFIC 2015 as a contender for Australian Navy’s SEA5000 ASW Frigate Program and in Sea Air Space 2017. The 30DX design has been shown in Sea Air Space 2018 (as well as 2019) and Euronaval 2018.

Japan plans to export four frigates to Indonesia, and another four will be built in Indonesia under $2.762 billion contract.

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