Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki launched today “Yahagi”, the fifth Mogami-class vessel. Also known as FFM, it is a next-generation frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
The first ship-in-class, Mogami, was launched in March 2021 by MHI (Naval News was on-site to cover the event) and commissioned with the JMSDF in April this year. Another shipyard, Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding located in Okayama launched the second ship of the class, Kumano, back in November 2020. The third vessel in the series, Noshiro, was launched by MHI in June 2021 while the fourth FFM, Mikuma, was launched by the same shipyard in December 2021.
The vessel is named after the Yahagi River (矢作川, Yahagi-gawa) which flows through Nagano, Gifu and Aichi prefectures. All ships of the class are named after famous rivers in Japan. 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 FFM (also known as 30FFM and previously known as 30DX) is the next-generation multi-mission frigate designed for the 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.
According to MHI, the FFM multi-mission frigate has a full load displacement of about 5,500 tons, with a length of 132.5 meters and a beam of 16.3 meters. It has a maximum speed of in excess of 30 knots. The crew complement is 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 countermeasures
- Sea mines for offensive mine warfare
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