The Mogami is the world’s most modern frigate, developed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
The Mogami-class frigate is developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 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 (426 ft 6 in), and a beam of 16 m (52 ft 6 in).
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 (VLS) 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.
The two Mogami class frigates undergoing sea trials are the JS Mogami and the JS Kumano. If the purchase of the Mogami-class frigates are completed, it would represent the largest arms deal ever between Japan and Indonesia. It will make a significant contribution to build an alliance of like-minded nations to contain China’s maritime ambitions.