Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (Mitsui E&S) launched the new 30FFM multi-mission frigate JS Kumano (FFM-2) for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
The naming and launching ceremony was conducted at Tamano Works in southern Okayama Prefecture on Nov. 19.
19 NOV, the naming and launching ceremony for the frigate “KUMANO” was held at Tamano Works, Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co.,Ltd. She combines compactness and manpower saving. We will make every effort to defend our country. #HappyBirthday“KUMANO”! #FFM pic.twitter.com/9aehEfNdi9
— Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (@jmsdf_pao_eng) November 19, 2020
JS Kumano (FFM-2) is the second ship of the 30FFM (also known as 30FF, 30DX, or 30DEX) frigate class but the first one to be launched. She is named after Kumano River and shares her name with a World War II heavy cruiser Kumano and Cold War destroyer escort Kumano.
Kumano was laid down on 30 October 2019 and is expected to be commissioned in March 2022.
The 30FFM frigate has an overall length of 130 m, breadth of 16 m, a standard displacement of 3900 tons with a full load displacement of about 5500 tons, and a maximum speed of over 30 knots.
The frigate is armed with a Mk 45 5-inch/62-caliber gun, two remote weapon stations above the bridge, 16 Mk 41 vertical launching system (VLS) cells on the bow, eignt anti-ship missiles, one SeaRAM system, torpedoes, and decoy launchers. It is also expected to use a naval version of the Type 03 Chū-SAM air defense system.
The frigate will embark an SH-60L helicopter. It will be able deploy and recover unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), unmanned surface vehicle (USV), and sea mines from the rear ramp beneath the helideck.
The 30FFM frigates are set to replace JMSDF’s Asagiri-class destroyers and Abukuma-class destroyer escorts.