The 4,900 tons “YOT-02” is one of two vessels ordered in 2020 by the Japanese Ministry of Defense. The first ship of the class, “YOT-01” was launched in October last year.
According to Naval News Japan based contributor Yoshihiro Inaba, these ships will be used to transport fuel to front-line bases in Okinawa and the Nansei Islands, or to fuel anchored JMSDF vessels. As such, the tanker doesn’t have “fueling stations” and can not perform “UNREP” (underway replenishment) missions. The order is part of a contingency plan:
“Currently, the JMSDF rely on civilian ships to transport fuel to these areas, but in case of war, the JMSDF could be denied transportation by these civilian contractors. Therefore, JMSDF will be able to transport the fuel on its own thanks to these new YOT vessels”.Yoshihiro Inaba, Japan based military writer
The exact size, performance figures and general characteristics of the YOT ships have not been released publicly yet.