Kumano (くまの」named after the Kumano river in the Kii Peninsula of central Japan, located in Nara, Wakayama and Mie Prefectures) was launched by local shipbuilder Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd in Okayama in November 2020. The vessel is actually the second ship in the class: FFM #1 known as Mogami (もがみ) was launched in March this year. Naval News’ Japanese contributor, Yoshihiro Inaba, attended the launch ceremony in Nagasaki. The third vessel in the class, Noshiro (のしろ), was launched by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki in June.
During her launch, it was announced that Kumano would be delivered to the JMSDF by the end of 2021. Naval News is trying to confirm this information with Mitsui E&S.
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) and USV (unknown type) for mine counter measures
- Sea mines for offensive mine warfare
You can learn more about the 30FFM class with the in-depth feature we published last year: