JS Noshiro is among 10 frigates planned for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

JS Noshiro, hull number FFM-3, the third frigate of the Mogami class was officially commissioned on December 15, 2022. She was immediately sent to her unit and prepared for the first deployment. JS Noshiro is among 10 frigates planned for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. The sixth Mogami-class frigate, the JS Agano, was also launched on December 21, 2022.

Noshiro was laid down on 15 July 2020 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki and launched on 22 June 2021. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is quickly churning out these new frigates designed to replace older destroyers and destroyer escorts of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. When completed, the Mogami class will be the core of this force.

The Mogami-class frigates cost up to 50 billion Yen per ship (approximately $ 450 million). It was envisioned as a stealthy multi-mission frigate. The ship’s design looked similar to the United States Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship with an integrated mast. The ships will have a full load displacement of about 5,500 tons, a length of 130 m, and a beam of 16 m.

Mogami’s design emphasizes stealth capabilities, based on research and development from the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin stealth fighter technology demonstrator, also developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Along with stealth capabilities, the frigate also emphasizes on having a high level of automation. This allows the frigate to possess a low crew size of only 90 personnel compared to other ships of similar size.

The Mogami class is powered by a Combined diesel and gas propulsion system, including a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine and 2 MAN Diesel engines. Mogami can reach a top speed of over 30 knots.

As a modern frigate, the Mogami is armed with a variety of modern weapons, including a 127 mm Mk-45 Mod 4 naval gun, two remote weapon stations above the bridge, 16 Mk 41 Vertical Launching System at the bow, 8 anti-ship missiles, one SeaRAM, an SH-60L helicopter, torpedoes, and decoy launchers.

It can also deploy and recover unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV), unmanned surface vehicles (USV), and sea mines from the rear ramp beneath the helideck. It is also expected to use a naval version of the Type 03 Chū-SAM. The overall design of the Mogami class is to achieve a frigate-sized vessel with the capabilities similar to the Akizuki-class destroyer but with half the VLS cells, and is optimized for stealth.

Mogami is considered one of the most modern frigates in the world. Japan is also promoting to export to foreign customers, its first customer is Indonesia. 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, which reinforces the delivery.

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