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Japan's ATLA Selected MHI & Mitsui to build 30DX Surface Combatant for JMSDF.

| 2017
Naval Forces News - Japan
Japan's ATLA Selected MHI & Mitsui to build 30DX Surface Combatant for JMSDF
Japan's Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) announced on August 9th the launch of a new surface vessel programme called 30DX for the JMSDF. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) was selected as prime contractor while Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (Mitsui) was selected as subcontractor. ATLA is a branch of Japan's MoD created in 2015 to "ensure technological superiority and respond to operational needs smoothly and quickly".
30DX Surface Combatant JMSDFComputer rendering of the 30DX vessel. CGI: ATLA
ATLA also announced that MHI would build the first vessel and Mitsui the second unit of the new class. Construction of the first two units is expected to begin in 2018; The series should consist of eight units built in pairs. Unit cost of this new class is estimated at 50 billion yen (about 390 million Euros). Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard and Mitsui Tamano Shipyard are set to be in charge of the construction.

The original plan considered a design similar to the American LCS concept, but finaly it looks like ATLA decided on a more conservative plan. MHI has been working (with its own funds) on the 30FF concept since 2015: A 3000 tons frigate capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. However the latest ATLA CGI looks quite different compared to the 30FF design. The three main factors driving the 30DX design appear to be affordability, miniaturization/automation and multi-mission capabilities.

The 30DX will follow the latest Asahi-class of Destroyers. It will be quite smaller and some of its mission set include mine warfare. 30DX is expected to replace both the Asagiri-class destroyer (8 units built in the 1980ies) and the Abukuma-class destroyer escort (6 corvettes built in the late 1980ies/early 1990ies).

According the ATLA, the 30DX is set to have a standard displacement of approximately 3,900 tons, a length of 130 meters and width of 16 meters. The top speed is set to be in excess of 30 knots. The propulsion system will be in CODAG arrangement with 1x Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine and 2x MAN diesel engines.

In terms of weapons, the vessel will be fitted with a BAE Systems 5 inch Mark 45 naval gun system, VLS cells for surface to air missiles (16 or 24), 8x anti-ship missiles (likely XSSM based on the shape of the cannisters), a Raytheon SeaRAM short range missile launcher on top of the helicopter hangar, torpedo and decoy launchers.

As far as sensors are concerned, the 30DX is fitted with a multi-functionr radar (in an integrated mast), Electro Optic sensors, variable depth sonar and passive towed array as well as a hull mounted mine countermeasure sonar. 30DX will be able to deploy and recover UUV, USV, helicopter as well as sea mines.

Special thanks to our Twitter sources: @phantom2navy @tamotaro @sdkfz1224 and @kh840124
XASM 3 F2 Japan JASDF anti ship missile launch ATLAMitsubishi Heavy Industries 30FF scale model
MHI has been working (with its own funds) on the 30FF concept since 2015: The vessel incorporates lessons learned on stealth and radar technology when MHI developped the ATD-X Shinshin stealth fighter experimental aircraft. Partners in the program include NEC, Fujitsu and Mitsubishi Electronics especially for the integrated mast and radars. MHI was showcasing a model of the vessel at PACIFIC 2015 in Australia and Sea Air Space 2017 in the US. The model is an actual remote controlled model use to test the ballance of the hull in a test facility of the JMSDF. It features a Mk 45 main gun, 2x Marlin - WS by Oto Melera (forward) and a SeaRAM on top of the helicopter hangar. The hull is fitted with two shafts and two water jets to answer the high speed requirement of the JMSDF: 30FF is required to reach 40 knots.

MHI 30FF basic specifications:
Length: 120 m
Max beam: 18 m
Displacement: About 3,000 t
Accommodation: About 100

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