Japan provides more details on development of new Offshore Patrol Vessel design


A CGI of the next-generation OPV for the JMSDF. Photo c/o Japan MOD ATLA through Jane's.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) has provided more details on the development of a next-generation Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) design for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

The new OPVs will be used to conduct surveillance and intelligence gathering, and coastal and near-offshore patrol missions.

A video was released by the MOD's Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) on 01 July 2021 showing the new OPV, which will have a modular system that allows customization according to desired mission profiles.

It is expected that the new OPVs will be more capable than current models, and will have improvements on automation, modularity, adaptability and sustainability.

The new vessels will have less crew and will feature autonomous navigation systems, and advanced Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems.

Expected equipment will include medium and small caliber guns, and helicopter landing deck with a multipurpose hangar, and deck space for modular payloads and ISO containerization for mission modules.

The design also features reduced radar cross-section, as well as efficiency in fuel consumption plus easy maintenance.

According to British defense media outlet Jane's, Japanese shipbuilders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (Mitsui E&C) are expected to compete for the project, as both companies have made their respective offerings and concept designs first seen in 2019.

Naval News reported in 2019 that Japan Marine United is also competing for the OPV program.

Jane's also reported that MHI disclosed in 2019 that their design will have a full-load displacement between 1,500 to 2,000 tons, will be between 85 to 100 meters long, with a width of 14 meters, and can attain a maximum speed of more than 25 knots.

According to Naval News during MAST Asia 2019 defense exhibition in Tokyo, Mitsui E&C's design will have a crew of only 23 officers and sailors, a length of 100 meters and a displacement of 2,000 tons, and will be powered by diesel engines allowing a maximum speed of more than 25 knots. 

The Japan MOD is expected to award the contract to a winning company by 2022, with a delivery expected to start after 3 years.

[1] Jane's
[2] Naval News

Japan provides more details on development of new Offshore Patrol Vessel design Japan provides more details on development of new Offshore Patrol Vessel design Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on July 20, 2021 Rating: 5

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