Japan Commissions First-in-Class FFM Frigate ‘Mogami ’

Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. held a delivery ceremony and a self-defense ship flag raising ceremony for the first-in-class frigate ‘Mogami’. The event took place today at the MHI shipyard in Nagasaki. The first of the FFM frigates is now officially commissioned with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

Right after the ceremony, Mogami set sail for its home port: Yokosuka Naval Base, as part of the Mine Warfare Force.

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.” 

While Mogami (FFM-1) is the first-in-class ship, Kumano (FFM-2), the second ship of the class was commissioned first, in March 2022. 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. Mogami was launched in March 2021 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki. Naval News’ Japanese contributor, Yoshihiro Inaba, attended the launch ceremony. Kumano was the first of the FFM ships to be launched, back in November 2020. She was built by local shipbuilder Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd in Okayama. The third vessel in the class, Noshiro (のしろ), was launched by MHI in Nagasaki in June 2021. The fourth FFM, Mikuma (みくま), was launched by MHI in December 2021.

The Mogami-class / 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 frigates of the class are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki and Mitsui E&S in Okayama. MHI is acting as prime contractor for the program.

According to MHI, the FFM multi-mission frigate will have a full load displacement of about 5,500 tons, with a length of 132.5 meters and a beam of 16.3 meters. It will have a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots. The crew complement will be quite low, at about 90 sailors, indicating a high level of automation on board.

The FFM will be equipped with a wide variety of weapons and systems as listed below.

  • BAE Systems Mk.45 mod.4 5-inch naval gun system ×1
  • Japan Steel Works 12.7mm Remote Weapon System ×2
  • Mk.41 VLS
  • Raytheon SeaRAM ×1
  • MHI Type 17 anti-ship missiles ×8
  • Mitsubishi Electric OPY-2 multifunction Radar
  • Mitsubishi Electric OAX-3EO/IR sensors
  • Hitachi OQQ-11 anti-mine sonar
  • NEC OQQ-25 anti-submarine sonar (VDS/TASS)
  • UUV (OZZ-5 by MHI) and USV (unknown type) for mine counter measures
  • Sea mines for offensive mine warfare

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