Japan launches fifth Mogami-class stealth multirole frigate

The frigate Yahagi (FFM-5) during launching by MHI. Photo c/o Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.

Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has launched the fifth ship of the Mogami-class frigate built for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

The ship, named Yahagi (FFM-5) was launched on 23 June 2022 at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works.

It was named after the Yahagi river in Chubu region, in line with Japanese ship naming conventions.

Previously, an Agano-class cruiser with the Imperial Japanese Navy held the same, which was sunk together with the battleship Yamato during Operation Ten-Go just months before the end of World War 2.

MHI is expected to continue works on the ship, as works on the final fittings and equipment will still need to be done, as well as testing and sea trials in preparation for its hand-over and commissioning the JMSDF by December 2023.

The new Mogami-class frigates were designed with efficiency and high level of automation in mind, together with a more compact design for reduced construction cost,and stealthy hull and superstructure design for reduced cross-section against radar detection.

It has a length of 132.5 meters, a width of 16.3 meters, and has a crew of 90 officers and sailors.

The ship has a maximum speed of more than 30 knots, and powered by a Combined Diesel and Gas (CODAG) propulsion configuration with two MAN 12V28/33D STC diesel engines and a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engine.

It is armed with a BAE Systems Mk.45 Mod 4 127mm naval gun, two Japan Steel Works RCWS for 12.7mm machine guns, a 16-cell Mk. 41 VLS, an 11-cell Raytheon SeaRAM CIWS, and two quadruple launchers for MHI Type 17 anti-ship missiles.

Its sensors include the Mitsubishi Electric OPY-2 multifunctional radar, Mitsubishi Electric OAX-3 EO/IR sensors, Hitachi OQQ-11 anti-mine sonar, and NEC OQQ-25 anti-submarine sonar suite that includes a hull mounted system and a towed-array sonar system.

The Mogami-class are to replace the JMSDF's ageing fleet of Abukuma-class destroyer escorts that have been in service since the late 1980s.

[1] Naval News
[2] Overt Defense
[3] Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

Japan launches fifth Mogami-class stealth multirole frigate  Japan launches fifth Mogami-class stealth multirole frigate Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 28, 2022 Rating: 5

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