MHI launched Yahagi, the fifth Mogami-class frigate on order for the Japan Maritime Self-Protection Power (JMSDF), in a ceremony held at its services in Nagasaki Metropolis, June 23, 2022.
Credit score: Kosuke Takahashi
As China and Russia proceed to ship ships and plane to the seas surrounding the Japanese archipelago, Japan is betting on compact, missile-laden vessels to discourage its neighbors successfully within the East China Sea and the Indo-Pacific area.
A deliberate fleet of twenty-two Mogami-class multirole frigates for the Japan Maritime Self-Protection Power (JMSDF) is a part of that effort. Japan’s largest protection contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) simply launched the fifth frigate of the category.
Named Yahagi, the 133-meter-long vessel (pennant quantity FFM-5) entered the water in a ceremony held on June 23 on the firm’s Nagasaki Shipyard and Equipment Works in Nagasaki Prefecture. The Yahagi is predicted to enter service with the JMSDF in December 2023.
Outfitted with compact hulls, JS Yahagi is being constructed for about 47 billion yen ($346 million) beneath a contract awarded in February 2021, in keeping with an MHI press launch. As with the opposite ships of the category, the three,900-tonne vessel can have a crew complement of about 90 (out of whom 10 are feminine), a beam of 16.3 m, and a hull draught of 9 m.
As China expands the dimensions and capabilities of its naval forces, Japan plans to defend the southwestern Nansei Islands, together with the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands within the East China Sea, by boosting its patrol actions. The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are managed by Japan but additionally claimed by China and Taiwan.
A JMSDF spokesman mentioned Tokyo plans to construct 10 ships of the Mogami class beneath its Mid-Time period Protection Program (MTDP) for fiscal years 2019-23, which was authorised in December 2018. With the MHI constructing two per 12 months, the JMSDF has plans to ultimately discipline a complete of twenty-two such frigates. The primary ship of the category was formally commissioned in March 2022.
The JMSDF spokesman instructed The Diplomat the brand new Mogami class would require fewer crewmembers and that, in contrast with different frigate lessons, building prices can be decrease as a consequence of its compact dimension. This new idea of the frigate was solid amid the nation’s quickly ageing inhabitants and shrinking pool of obtainable residents who’re eligible to serve within the Japan Self-Protection Forces.
Powered by a mixed diesel and gasoline (CODAG) propulsion system that includes two MAN 12V28/33D STC diesel engines and one Rolls-Royce MT30 gasoline turbine, the ships are anticipated to be able to attaining a high velocity of at the very least 30 kt. The Mogami class marks the primary installment of a CODAG system on any JMSDF ship.
Armaments on the frigates embody a BAE Methods 5-inch (127 mm)/62-caliber naval gun within the foredeck of the ship, two missile canisters for a complete of eight MHI Sort 17 anti-ship missiles, often known as the SSM-2, and a Raytheon 11-cell SeaRAM close-in weapon system (CIWS) that may deploy RIM-116C Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAMs).
The frigates can even be outfitted with variable depth sonar and towed array sonar methods for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. They function six 324 mm torpedo tubes and the NEC OQQ-25 variable depth sonar.
Apart from anti-air, anti-surface, and ASW capabilities, the Mogami class has additionally been designed to undertake operations as a “mom ship” for an unmanned underwater car (UUV) and an unmanned floor car (USV), each of which is able to see the primary installment on any Japanese frigate ever. This goals to boost the UUV’s mine countermeasure (MCM) capabilities.
A spokesman on the Japanese Ministry of Protection’s Acquisition, Expertise, and Logistics Company (ATLA) has confirmed to The Diplomat that the Mogami class can be outfitted with MHI’s OZZ-5 MCM autonomous underwater car (AUV), used for MCM operations as a UUV.
French protection and electronics group Thales has provided MHI with its SAMDIS Artificial Aperture Sonar (SAS) for integration on the OZZ-5 UUV. It’s being provided by MHI to the JMSDF as a part of the protection cooperation settlement between Course Générale de l’Armement (France’s protection procurement company) and Japan’s ATLA.
SAMDIS is a high-frequency, high-resolution SAS payload designed particularly to carry out detection, classification, and localization of mine threats at sea.
The system serves an computerized detection and classification perform to alleviate operator workload in processing collected knowledge.
The OZZ-5 UUV, which measures 4 m lengthy and 0.5 m broad with a displacement of 950 kg, is supplied with Japan’s NEC-made low-frequency SAS and France’s Thales-made high-frequency SAS combinedly, which is designed to make sure a sturdy MCM functionality for the detection and classification of various mine threats in a spread of environments.