The Japanese Navy on Thursday launched its first new generation of stealth multi-mission frigates, which will incorporate missile launchers, surface and underwater unmanned systems and electronic counter-measures.
Christened as “Kumano,” and technically called the 30FFM ship, was launched in a ceremony at shipbuilder Mitsui’s facilities at Okayama, Japan, on Nov. 19. It is expected to be commissioned into the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2022 following qualification trials, the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) announced on its social media pages.
The 30FFM is 435-foot-long displacing 3,900 tons, but 5,500 tons when fully loaded. The Japanese government previously ordered six frigates but has an eventual requirement for 22 frigates, which will be built by both Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsui. The ship has a helicopter deck.
Other features include an integrated mast fitted with a Mitsubishi Electric OPY-2 multifuction radar and other sensors and an integrated combat information center. Automation at various levels- including ship management, weapons management the crew requirement onboard to 90 sailors.
The frigate will also be equipped with anti-mine and anti-submarine sonars, and have a hangar for operating Seahawk helicopters. Other shipboard weapon systems include the Raytheon RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile and MHI Type 17 anti-ship missile.
Propulsion for the 30FFM class will be supplied by a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine and a pair of MAN 12V28/33D STC diesel engines in a combined diesel and gas arrangement, with the ships capable of reaching 30 knots.