FMF (also known as 30FFM for future multi-mission frigate and previously known as 30DX) is the next generation multi-mission frigate currently being developed by MHI for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
According to MHI, the FMF 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 FMF was designed to deploy unmanned platforms for various tasks. This is become a trend, like the MRCV project in Singapore or the MCM mother-ships in Belgium.
In addition, Naval News learned during PACIFIC 2019 that MHI cut the first steel on the FMF on September 4, 2019 during a low key event at the ceremony at the MHI Nagasaki shipyard. The vessel is set to be launched in November 2020.
The new FMF family of surface vessels is based on the FMF prototype developed by MHI and selected as new frigate program by the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD).
The MoD plans to order up to eight frigates (two each year for 4 years). The design of the first frigate began in October 2018 and commissioning is set for March 2022
The FMF family has common “Stealthy, Smart, Scalable” features such as very low radar cross-section, automated damage control and multi-mission.
This is the stretched variant of the FMF Frigate. With a displacement between 7,000 and 8,500 tons, this vessel can be considered as a Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG). It has a length of 145 to 160 meters, a breadth of 18 meters and a maximum speed of 30 knots.
It features 64 VLS cells forward for surface-to-air missiles and an additional 16x VLS cells aft, for a future vertically launched surface to surface missile. In comparison, the FFM frigate currently being built for the JMSDF has 16x VLS cells and 8x anti-ship missiles in a 2×4 topside launcher. Instead of the SeaRAM launcher fitted on the frigate, the destroyer features a future laser weapon system. The sensor suite and main gun (Mark 45 by BAE Systems) remain unchanged.
This design is fitted with MHI’s Advanced Integrated CIC, which was unveiled during Sea Air Space 2019.
OPV based on FMF
This is the shortened variant of the FMF Frigate. The OPV has a displacement comprised between 1,500 and 2,000 tons, with a length of 85 to 100 meters, a breadth of 14 meters and a maximum speed of 25+ knots.
MHI is proposing two versions of the OPV, one for Naval Forces and another one (with commercial standard) for Coast Guard/Maritime Patrol.
None of the two OPVs feature the advanced integrated CIC for affordability reasons.
MHI is competing against Mitsui and JMU for a JMSDF new OPV requirement. MHI is proposing the design on the export market as well.