On December 15, 2022, the JS Noshiro, which has the hull number FFM-3 and is the third frigate in the Mogami class, was officially put into service. She was sent to her unit immediately and told to prepare for the first deployment.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force plans to get ten frigates, including JS Noshiro. The JS Agano, the sixth Mogami-class frigate, was also put into service on December 21, 2022.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is the naval branch of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, responsible for the defense of Japan.
The JMSDF was formed following the dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) after World War II. The JMSDF has a fleet of approximately 150 ships, including destroyers, submarines, and aircraft carriers, as well as various smaller vessels, such as patrol boats and mine warfare ships.
The JMSDF also operates a number of aircraft, including fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, for various roles, including anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and maritime patrol. The JMSDF plays a key role in Japan’s defense and participates in various international military operations, including peacekeeping and disaster relief.
Noshiro was built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki. It was laid down on July 15, 2020, and set sail on June 22, 2021. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force needs these new frigates to replace older destroyers and escorts.
They are being made quickly by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. When done, the Mogami class will be the most important part of this force.
The Mogami-class frigates can cost up to 50 billion Yen ($450 million) per ship. It was supposed to be a stealthy, many-purpose frigate.
The integrated mast and low profile design gave the ship the appearance of the Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. The ships will be 130 meters long with a 16-meter beam and a full load displacement of roughly 5,500 tonnes.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ research and development on the X-2 Shinshin stealth fighter technology demonstrator informed the design priorities of the Mogami.
The frigate’s high level of automation is emphasized just as much as its stealth capabilities. Because of this, the frigate only needs a fraction of the crew number of other ships of its class, just 90 people.
The Mogami class is propelled by a diesel-gas hybrid propulsion system consisting of a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine and two MAN diesel engines. Mogami can travel at nearly 30 knots when at full throttle.
The Mogami, as a modern frigate, is equipped with a wide range of cutting-edge weaponry, including a 127 mm Mk-45 Mod 4 naval gun, two remote weapon stations above the bridge, sixteen Mk 41 Vertical Launching System at the bow, eight anti-ship missiles, one SeaRAM, a helicopter (SH-60L), anti-ship torpedoes, and decoy launchers.
Sea mines, unmanned underwater vehicles, and unmanned surface vehicles can all be deployed and recovered from the ship’s ramp below the helipad. A Type 03 Ch-SAM modified for use in the navy is also likely to be used.
The Mogami class design aimed to create a stealth-optimized, frigate-sized warship with capabilities comparable to those of the Akizuki-class destroyer.
The frigate Mogami is widely regarded as among the most cutting-edge vessels of its kind. Japan is also actively pursuing international markets, with Indonesia serving as its first customer outside.
Japan plans to export four frigates to Indonesia, and another four will be built in Indonesia under ¥300 billion contract. In March 2021, Japan and Indonesia signed a military cooperation agreement, reinforcing the delivery.