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30FFM (30DD) 3,900-ton ASW escort ship

Japan on 19 November 2020 launched the warship Kumano - the first of its class 30FFM multi-role frigate - at the Mitsui Group's shipbuilding facility in Okayama. The 30FFM class has a 435-foot (more than 130m) design, displaces 3,900 tons, but when fully loaded is 5,500 tons. The ship is designed to stealthily reduce the radar cross section and is capable of launching, operating and retrieving unmanned ships operating on water and underground. This type of ship applies new technologies such as unmanned systems and reduced radar cross section. It was expected that the Kumano will enter the service version of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2022.

In the latest defense budget proposal, the Japanese government proposed to spend an additional $ 951 million to buy two more destroyers to equip the Marine Defense Force, in addition to the six ships ordered earlier. Currently, another 30FFM vessel was being built by Mitsubishi Corporation. With these two ships, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has ordered a total of 22 frigates built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsui Company. Singapore's Business Times reported that Indonesia intends to buy four Japanese 30FFM ships in the country's military modernization plan. According to the newspaper, the deal came after a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in October 2020.

The 30FFM, formerly known as 30DD or 30DX (sometimes called FFX) is a new concept that was shown in the mid-term defense buildup plan. Specifications included 3,900-ton light displacement and 5,500 tons full displacement, X-band AESA, 16 Mk 41 cells, 8x AShM, SeaRAM, 5 inch gun, 1 x helo.

Japan will add more DD, DEs to expand destroyer fleet size from 47 destroyers + 25 minesweepers in Heisei 25 to 54 destroyers + 18 minesweepers in the Mid Term Defense Plan. In December 2013 Japan approved a new five-year defense plan. This Mid Term Defense Plan (MTDP) defined Japan’s defense policy and capabilities for 2014 to 2018. The MSDF will receive a boost in destroyers, with seven more to be acquired, including two Aegis destroyers. The new procurement plan will bring Japan’s total number of destroyers from 47 to 54, and Aegis destroyers from six to eight. In order to accommodate the extra destroyers within the MSDF’s force structure an additional escort flotilla will be formed. Each flotilla consists of two escort squadrons, with each squadron consisting of 4 destroyers. There are currently four escort flotillas, based at Yokosuka, Sasebo, Maizuru, and Kure.

In 2020, news of negotiations on the sale of destroyers by Japan to Indonesia emerged. The name 30DX or 30FF / 30FFM frigate appears. This frigate with a dead weight of 5,500 tons has a stealth design, at a glance it has similarities with the Formidable Class frigate design. The manufacturer, namely Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), has announced that the 30DX frigate will be offered for the export market. Because there is a desire to sell this frigate for export, there is a strong suspicion that the 30DX frigate is the one being targeted to be sold to Indonesia. The 30DX frigate features a 127 mm Mark 45 gun on the bow, two CIWS cannons, a SeaRAM - RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile mounted above the hangar. Then there are two canisters, which can carry 8 units of Type 17 anti-ship missiles, and 16 missile launchers in the Mk-41 VLS ( Vertical Launch System ).

Responding to the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide who met President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Presidential Palace on 20 October 2020, the Japanese government is reportedly considering selling a destroyer to Indonesia. If the destroyer deal is successful, it will provide momentum for Japanese defense equipment exports and help realize Japan's initiative to make the Indo-Pacific region free and open . The plan to sell destroyers to Indonesia cannot be separated from China's expansion in the South China Sea region.

Japan plans to export 4 destroyer escorts to Indonesia, and another 4 will be built in indonesia under ¥300 billion contract. The 30DX (also known as 30FF, 30FFM, or 30DEX) is a Japanese destroyer escort (multi-mission frigate) in development for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). But the export may be possible if it is made for the purpose of joint ship development with a foreign country. The vessel 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.

The 30DEX and 33DD are two different programs that will be developed and built together. 33DD is different from either 30DEX Destroyer Escort Xperimental (3000t Type; equivalent of Abukuma DE) or Future Trimaran Patrol Combat Ship (2000t Type; equivalent of Hayabusa PG). All three belong to different combatant categories and though they are being designed/built together. Mitsubishi 30DEX is a smaller ship and has no VLS, being built purely as an ASW escort ship. Lighter armament, but fast and stealthy. It will replace Abukuma class DEs. DDR, on the other hand, will be able to multirole including AAW with better radar and missile armament developed by Japan. It's a new destroyer being developed to meet the requirement of DD successors after, and also based on, Akizuki class DD.

Construction starts with the 3,900-ton type blue-water ASW escort ship class "30DD", which starts in 2019, and eight vessels are built over four years, and planning to start operation in 2022. The Defense Equipment Agency announced that it selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the main contractor in August 2017 and Mitsui zosen as the subcontractor.

The Ministry of Defense is planning to build a total of eight ships, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plans to build six vessels, Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding plans to build two ships. The Japanese fleet will receive ships in the first half of 2022.

The Defense Equipment Agency announced on August 9, 2017 that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was selected as the main contractor of the escort ship (new ship) procurement after 2018 (Heisei 30) year, and Mitsui Zosen was selected as the subcontractor. The project proposal was described in all the items requested by Japan Marine United (JMU), Mitsui Zosen and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., and the first stage evaluation satisfied the essential requirements for all three companies. In the 2nd stage evaluation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was the highest, and the next point was Mitsui Engineering & Ship, as a comprehensive evaluation was made from the viewpoint of design building capacity, management skills of affiliated companies, maintenance and maintenance ability.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced on 01 November 2018 that it had received a contract from the Ministry of Defense of Japan to build the first two of four ships of the new class for the Marine Self-Defense Forces. This is the first year procurement of the 3,900 ton type destroyer that began procuring in FY 2018. In this procurement, the Defense Equipment Agency selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the main operator in August 2017, and Mitsui Zosen (as selected) as the subcontractor in this procurement. The new destroyer "30DD" is planned to build eight ships in four years from 2019.

Details of the contract value is not disclosed. According to Jane's, it would be more than 800 million dollars. The Japanese fleet will receive new frigates in the first half of the 2020s. The construction contract was based on the proposal which was carried out in FY 2017, and two ships of the first year contract are Nagasaki Shipbuilding Department based on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' design drawing, the Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding 2nd Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Tamano shipyard factory, each of which will be delivered in March 2022.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipbuilding Company (Nagasaki City) will build one of the contracts this time and another one will be built at Tamano shipping factory in Mitsui E & S (Tamano City, Okayama Prefecture). Construction cost per vessel is estimated to be around 50 billion yen. This is the first time Japan would build a ship for the Maritime Self Defense Force at the same time at the main shipyard and the subcontractor shipyard based on the design drawings of the main business. In collaboration with Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding, Mitsubishi advanced detailed design work, and both companies agreed on cooperation in the project system in the future.

These frigates would be capable of performing a wide range of tasks. According to reports, was expected that the frigate will be able to carry one helicopter, unmanned vehicles, as well as land and underwater vehicles. It will carry anti-ship missiles, a 127-mm cannon, an anti-aircraft missile system based on the Type 03 Chusam and a SeaRAM complex for short-range protection.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' proposed proposal adopts a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) system with a standard displacement of about 3,900 tons, a total length of about 130 meters, a maximum beam of about 16 meters [some sources report 13 meters] and a maximum speed of over 30 knots. The new escort ship "30DD" of the 3,900-ton type escort ship class has loading functions of rotary wing patrol aircraft and has the capability to operate also underwater unmanned aircraft (UUV) and water unmanned aircraft (USV).

For the engine it was decided to adopt the MT 30 gas turbine engine of Rolls-Royce, also installed in the new aircraft carrier "HMS Queen Elizabeth" of the British navy. And the diesel engine is equipped with two 12V 28/33 DSTC of MAN. Rolls-Royce announced on May 21, 2018 that the MT 30 gas turbine engine was adopted for the next Maritime Self Defense Force destroyers. MT 30 will be adopted as a major ship program of five countries including Japan.

Rolls-Royce said that the selection of MT 30 by the Ministry of Defense is of great significance, commented that all the top 3 users who adopt gas turbines were evaluated the ability of MT 30 and adopted as the main next ship's ship program. MT 30 meets the essential requirements for modern ships that require high power in limited inboard space with the highest energy density among currently operated gas turbines. In addition, it was planning to provide MT 30 with a rated output exceeding 40 megawatts for Japan. Rolls-Royce has provided power to naval ships of the Maritime Self-Defense Force for over 50 years and offers Kawasaki Heavy Industries of strategic partners and more than 200 gas turbines.

By August 2020 the first 30FFM (aka 30DX) multi-purpose frigate of eight hulls ordered for JMSDF were taking shape at Mitsubishi Heavy in Nagasaki. The first two hulls should be launched in 2020, after a drydock assembly having taken 12 months, with 22 hulls total so far planned.

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Page last modified: 06-07-2021 16:52:14 ZULU