- 14 Mar 2002
Last week, Japan's naval self-defence forces launched the eighth of its futuristic Mogami-class frigates. The JS Yūbetsu was launched in Tamano City, Okayama. The Mogami frigates are to become the backbone of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and are packed with various advanced features. The stealthy frigates, which feature a futuristic appearance given their clean, geometric profiles, will have the ability to perform various mission-sets for the JMSDF.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Yūbetsu is under construction by prime contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The vessel is named after Japan's Yūbetsu River in Hokkaido , the country's second-largest island — all frigates within the Mogami class are named after famous Japanese rivers. MHI has already delivered three ships in the class to the JMSDF — JS Mogami, Noshiro, and Mikuma, which were commissioned in April 2022, December 2022, and March 2023, respectively. The second Mogami class vessel, JS Kumano, was built by subcontractor Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding and was commissioned ahead of JS Mogami in March 2022.
Japan's Mogami class frigates are an intriguing mix of extreme automation paired with a small crew size, relevant capabilities, and low cost.