According to Naval News, Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Maritime Systems Co., Ltd. held a delivery ceremony and a self-defense ship flag raising ceremony for the first-in-class frigate JS Mogami (FFM-1) (もがみ). The event took place on 28 April 2022 at the MHI shipyard in Nagasaki. The first of the FFM frigates is now officially commissioned with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
Right after the ceremony, Mogami set sail for its home port: Yokosuka Naval Base, as part of the Mine Warfare Force.
The vessel is named after the Mogami River (最上川, Mogami-gawa) located in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. According to the JMSDF, «The Mogami River is said to be the “Mother’s River” because it brings many blessings to people».
While JS Mogami (FFM-1) is the first-in-class ship, JS Kumano (FFM-2), the second ship of the class was commissioned first, in March 2022. 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. Mogami was launched in March 2021 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki. Naval News’ Japanese contributor, Yoshihiro Inaba, attended the launch ceremony. Kumano was the first of the FFM ships to be launched, back in November 2020. She was built by local shipbuilder Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd in Okayama. The third vessel in the class, JS Noshiro (FFM-3) (のしろ), was launched by MHI in Nagasaki in June 2021. The fourth FFM, JS Mikuma (FFM-4) (みくま), was launched by MHI in December 2021.
The Mogami-class/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 (JMSDF). A total number of 22 Frigates are expected to be procured for the JMSDF.
The two shipyards in charge of building the frigates of the class are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki and Mitsui E&S in Okayama. MHI is acting as prime contractor for the program.
Initially, the Mogami-class was only «Fitted For But Not With» (FFBNW) Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS). This changed at the end of 2021: According to our Japan-based contributor, Yoshihiro Inaba, In late November, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced the supplementary budget for FY2021, which included a budget for two VLSs sets for FFM ships. Two FFM frigates will get 16 cells each (allowing for a total of 32 quad-parcked ESSM each). The total supplementary budget is about $6.8 billion, of which about $74 million is for the purchase of the VLS shipsets. Originally, the FFM 9 and 10 specified in the defense budget request for FY2022 included a budget for VLS. Therefore, the VLS specified in this supplemental budget is for installation on any of the FFM ships 1 through 8.