Tag Archives: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)

Third 30FFM Frigate

According to Naval News, Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki launched on Jun 22, 2021 JS Noshiro (FFM-3), the third Mogami-class vessel. Also known as 30FFM, it is a next generation frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

JS Noshiro (FFM-3)
Japan’s MHI launches JS Noshiro (FFM-3) the third 30FFM Mogami-class frigate for the JMSDF

The first ship-in-class, JS Mogami (FFM-1), was launched in March 2021 by MHI (Naval News was on site to cover the event) while another shipyard, Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding located in Okayama launched the second ship of the class, JS Kumano (FFM-2), back in November 2020. This is because Mitsui E&S received a subcontracting order from MHI (the main contractor) for the construction of the 3,900-ton frigate for the JMSDF.

The vessel is named after the Noshiro River (Noshiro-gawa) located in Akita Prefecture, Japan. According to the JMSDF «The Noshiro River has supported tens of thousands of people since ancient times». The shipyard will now proceed to the fitting out stage of the frigate, ahead of its delivery and commissioning set for 2022

30FFM (also known as FFM and previously known as 30DX) is the next generation multi-mission frigate designed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. A total number of 22 Frigates are expected to be procured for the JMSDF.

The two shipyards in charge of building the first two frigates of the class are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki and Mitsui E&S in Okayama.

According to MHI, the 30FFM multi-mission frigate will have a full load displacement of about 5,500 tons, with a length of 132.5 meters/434.7 feet and a beam of 16.3 meters/53.5 feet. It will have a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h. The crew complement will be quite low, at about 90 sailors, indicating a high level of automation on board.

The 30FFM will be equipped with a wide variety of weapons and systems as listed below.

  • BAE Systems Mk.45 mod.4 5-inch/127-mm naval gun system × 1
  • Japan Steel Works 12.7-mm Remote Weapon System × 2
  • 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) fitted for but not with
  • Raytheon SeaRAM × 1
  • MHI Type 17 anti-ship missiles × 8
  • Mitsubishi Electric OPY-2 multifunction Radar
  • Mitsubishi Electric OAX-3EO/IR sensors
  • Hitachi OQQ-11 anti-mine sonar
  • NEC OQQ-25 anti-submarine sonar (VDS/TASS)
  • Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) OZZ-5 by MHI and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) unknown type for mine counter measures
  • Sea mines for offensive mine warfare

Great Whale

According to Naval News, Japan’s newest submarine JS Taigei (SS-513) (previously known as 29SS) was launched on October 14, 2020 at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) shipyard in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.

JS Taigei (SS-513)
The external appearance of the JS Taigei (SS-513) is not much different from the Sōryū-class, but inside of it is a completely different submarine (Japan MoD picture)

Taigei means «Great Whale» in Japanese and was once used as the name of a submarine tender of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) uses the names of submarines to refer to (1) things related to oceanographic phenomena, (2) legendary creatures and (3) underwater animals. This leaves three main classes of submarines to be operated by the JMSDF in the future: the Oyashio-class is named after underwater currents and tides, the Sōryū-class submarines are named after dragons, and it appears that the new Taigei-class will be named after whales or large fishes.

The external appearance of the JS Taigei (SS-513) is not much different from the Sōryū-class, but inside of it is a completely different submarine. First, the JS Taigei (SS-513) uses lithium-ion batteries instead of the 4V-275R Mk. III Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, which was installed aboard the first 10 Sōryū-class submarines.

Secondly, the capabilities of the sonar and combat command system have been improved, as well as the use of new accoustic absorbent materials and a floating floor structure to make it quieter. It is also equipped with Torpedo Counter Measures (TCM), which ejects decoys to evade enemy torpedoes for improved survivability.

The JS Taigei (SS-513) is scheduled to be commissioned into the JMSDF in March 2022, after which it will be used as a test submarine, according to the «National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2019 and beyond» published in December 2018. In other words, JS Taigei (SS-513) will be the dedicated ship to conduct all future tests of technology on JMSDF submarines.


Basic Specifications

Standard Displacement about 3000 tons
Length 84 meters/275.6 feet
Total width 9.1 meters/29.8 feet
Crew about 70
Propulsion Diesel Electric Propulsion (with lithium-ion batteries)


Japan Super Interceptor

Boeing and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) recently signed a Direct Commercial Sale agreement to support upgrades to Japan’s F-15J fleet.

Artist’s rendering of upgraded JASDF F-15JSI (Boeing rendering)

The contract is part of a larger $4.5 billion modernization program, announced by the U.S. Government in October 2019. The upgrades will introduce state-of-the-art electronic warfare and weapons. An all-new advanced cockpit system, running on the world’s most advanced mission computer, will deliver pilots enhanced situational awareness.

Under the agreement, Boeing will provide MHI with retrofit drawings, ground support equipment and technical publications for the upgrade of the first two F-15J aircraft to the Japan Super Interceptor configuration.

Boeing has partnered with MHI in the defense arena since the 1950s. MHI produced under license the current Japan F-15J fleet of over 200 aircraft between 1980 and 2000, and will serve as prime contractor for the upgrade. Sojitz Corporation, a trading company that works with Boeing’s team in Japan, will support this effort.

«Through this agreement, Boeing is honored to further our long-standing tradition of support for Japan’s Ministry of Defense, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and MHI», said Will Shaffer, Boeing Japan President. «These upgrades will deliver critical capability for national and collective self-defense, in which the F-15J plays a key role. At the same time, they will provide MHI and our partners in Japan’s aerospace defense industry with an opportunity to enhance their own extensive engineering capabilities».

This DCS contract lays the foundation of the modernization program. MHI will develop the detailed modification plan for the jets and prepare the facilities and workforce for the induction and upgrade of up to 98 aircraft beginning in 2022.

Multirole Frigate

According to the post Kosuke Takahashi, correspondent of the magazine IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced on 1 November that it has been awarded a contract by the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) to build the first two of four ships of a new class of multirole frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

MHI has been awarded a contract by the Japanese MoD to build the first two of four ships of a new class of multirole frigate (seen here in computer-generated imagery) for the JMSDF (Source: MHI)
MHI has been awarded a contract by the Japanese MoD to build the first two of four ships of a new class of multirole frigate (seen here in computer-generated imagery) for the JMSDF (Source: MHI)

Although MHI did not disclose the value of the contract, the MoD had earmarked JPY92.2 billion (USD816 million) in its budget for fiscal year 2018 for the construction of the two 426-foot/130-meter-long, 42.6-foot/13-meter-wide frigates, which are expected to be handed over to the JMSDF in March 2022.

In August the MoD requested JPY99.5 billion from Tokyo for the construction of the two remaining vessels, with delivery expected to take place in March 2023. However, the contract for these two ships has yet to be awarded.

MHI’s frigate design and proposal were selected over those submitted by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding (MES) and Japan Marine United. MES, however, was chosen to be the subcontractor.

Construction of the first 3,900 tonne ship will take place at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Nagasaki Prefecture, while the second one will be built at MES’s Tamano Shipyard in Okayama Prefecture. The arrangement marks the first time that MHI will build a ship as the lead contractor.

According to the MoD, this new frigate class, which is intended to carry out surveillance missions in waters surrounding the Japanese archipelago, will be equipped with enhanced multirole capabilities, including the ability to conduct anti-mine warfare operations, which until now have been performed by the JMSDF’s ocean-going minesweepers.

Armament on the frigates, each of which will be capable of embarking one helicopter as well as unmanned surface and underwater vehicles, is expected to include the navalised version of the Type-03 (also known as the «Chū-SAM Kai») medium-range surface-to-air missile, a 5-inch (127-mm)/62-calibre gun, a Vertical Launch System (VLS), canister-launched anti-ship missiles, and a SeaRAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) close-in weapon system.