Japan’s First FFM Frigate For JMSDF ‘Mogami ’ 「もがみ」Started Sea Trials

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The vessel is named after the Mogami River (最上川, 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.” (最上川は、人々に多くの恵みをもたらしていることから〝母なる大河”と言われています。)

While Mogami (FFM-1) is the first-in-class ship, Kumano (FFM-2), the second ship of the class started her sea trials back in August. 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 this year by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki. Naval News’ Japanese contributor, Yoshihiro Inaba, attended the launch ceremony. Kumano was launched first, 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.

Contacted by Naval News in August 2021, MHI (the prime contractor) explained:

Kumano (FFM-2) will be commissioned with the JMSDF in March 2022. Even now, it is unclear whether the Mogami (FFM-1) which was launched later than the Kumano (FFM-2), will be commissioned later.

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 first two frigates of the class are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki and Mitsui E&S in Okayama.

Mogami-class / FFM characteristics​

According to MHI, the 30FFM 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 30FFM 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 (fitted for but not with)
  • 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) for mine counter measures
  • USV by Japan Marine United (JMU) Defense Systems
  • Sea mines for offensive mine warfare
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