Sunday, December 10, 2023

Tokyo will launch a new class of frigate even more modern than the FFM Mogami

With 23 conventionally powered submarines or AIPs of the Taigei (2), Soryu (12) and Oyashio (9) classes , 4 aircraft carriers including two Izumo class light aircraft carriers and two Hyuga class helicopter carriers, 8 large destroyers AEGIS class Maya (2), Atago (2) and Kongo (4) , as well as 38 destroyers, destroyer escorts and frigates of the Asahi (2), Akizuki (4), Takanami (5), Murasame (9), Asagiri (8), Abukuma (6) and FFM Mogami (4), the high seas fleet of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JFSF) is today one of the most powerful on the planet.

In addition to their number and advanced capabilities, many of the Japanese ships are recent, Tokyo having not, as many Western countries did, slowed down the pace of building renewals around the supposed drop in international tensions following the collapse. of the Soviet bloc. In fact, almost half of this fleet has less than 15 years of service, while the replacement of the oldest ships is already well underway.

This is how the Oyashio class submarines, which entered service between 1998 and 2008, have already begun with the arrival of the first Taigei, deemed to be very efficient and equipped with Lithium-ion batteries , having enabled the Mishishio submarines and Oyashio, the first two units of the eponymous class, to be converted into training ships.

This is also the case of the new class of Mogami frigate, a ship of 133 meters and 5,500 tonnes in load, of which 4 examples out of the 22 planned have already joined the Japanese Navy between April 2022 and March 2023, for replace the Abukuma and Asagiri class destroyers that entered service between the late 1980s and late 1990s.

If the Mogami class was initially to have 22 units, delivered to the Japanese naval forces between 2022 and 2032 at a rate of 2 ships per year, the latter announced that it would be limited to 12 units, while the remaining 10 ships will belong to a new derived class .

launch FFM Mogami
The Mogami class frigates are produced by MHI at a rate of 2 ships per year

It must be said that the key word which gave birth to the Mogami class was economy, both of men and of means. Thus, ships of 4,000 tonnes empty are acquired for 50 billion yen by the Japanese navy, or less than €340 million, a cost encountered more frequently for corvettes half as large as for first-rate frigates.

This is especially true since, unlike, for example, the British Type 31, which was also designed to achieve a very competitive cost, the Mogami did not compromise on capacity, having a powerful 3D SPY-2 radar with AESA antennas , 16 Mk41 silos for Type 03 anti-aircraft missiles, 8 Type 17 anti-ship missiles, a CIWS RAM system as well as a 127 mm Mk45 Mod 4 cannon.

Importantly, the frigate has a full sonar suite consisting of a hull sonar and a variable depth towed sonar, as well as an SH-60L naval helicopter and Type 12 torpedoes, making it a platform efficient anti-submarine warfare. The ship is also economical in human resources, with a crew of only 90 men, half as many as the 220 men of the Agasiri destroyers.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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