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Japanese Navy commissions fifth Mogami class frigate Yahagi.

According to information published by the Japanese MoD on May 21, 2024, at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard, the handover ceremony and the Self-Defense Ship flag presentation for the escort ship "Yahagi" took place. This vessel is the fifth ship of the Mogami-class frigates.
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Japanese Mogami-class frigate JS Yahagi. (Picture source: Japanese MoD)

Designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding, the Mogami-class frigates feature a stealthy design incorporating lessons from MHI’s research on the ATD-X Shinshin stealth fighter.

This reduces the ship’s radar cross-section and improves its survivability in hostile environments. The frigates measure approximately 130 meters in length and have a displacement of 3,900 tons standard and 5,500 tons fully loaded, enabling them to perform a variety of missions efficiently.

A key feature of the Mogami-class is its high level of automation, allowing for a reduced crew size of just 90 personnel. This is facilitated by the Advanced Integrated Combat Information Center (CIC), which combines various operational rooms into a single, cohesive unit enhanced with augmented reality technology for superior situational awareness and navigation.

The frigates are equipped with a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) propulsion system, providing over 70,000 horsepower and enabling speeds in excess of 30 knots. Their armament includes a 5-inch naval gun, Type 17 anti-ship missiles, and the SeaRAM close-in weapon system for defense against air threats. Future upgrades will include the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) for enhanced anti-aircraft and anti-submarine capabilities.

Operationally, the Mogami-class frigates are designed for multi-role missions, including anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, and surface combat.

They can deploy unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) for mine detection and clearance, which is a first for JMSDF frigates.

This versatility allows the frigates to undertake surveillance and patrol missions around the Japanese archipelago, particularly in the East China Sea, thereby enhancing maritime security in disputed areas such as the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

The JMSDF originally planned to build 22 Mogami-class frigates but has since revised this to 12, with a new class of improved frigates planned for subsequent construction.

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