MSC-601 Hirashima 16MS 570 ton
During World War II, in addition to the fundamental duties of laying mines and anti-submarine nets, the mine layers of the Hirashima type were equipped with addional anti-submarine equipment like depth charge throwers and a 80mm high angle gun. The nine vessels built in the period from 1940 to 1943 were used for laying mines, for patrol and escort duties.
The modern MSC-601 Hirashima class 570-Ton Class Coastal Minesweeper (MSC) is also known as Project 16 since the first unit was authorized in the year Heisei 16 [JFY2004]. As with other recent coastal minesweepers, the class is built by Universal Shipbuilding Corporation. The 2007 budget request included proposed purchases of one 5,000-ton destroyer, one 2,900-ton diesel submarine, one Project 16 570-ton Class Coastal Minesweeper (MSC) and four patrol helicopters.
On 01 October 2002, NKK Corporation and Hitachi Zosen Corporation integrated their shipbuilding operations to begin a new era of efficiency and effectiveness as Universal Shipbuilding Corporation at the Keihin Shipyard. Universal Shipbuilding Corporation inherits NKK's 90-year and Hitachi-Zosen's 120-year history of experience, know-how, specialist expertise, and comprehensive service qualities giving both companies a global reputation of experience in technology and shipbuilding skills. The large docks of Ariake Shipyard and Tsu Shipyard together with the modern manufacturing facilities of Maizuru Shipyard, Keihin Shipyard and Innoshima Shipyard, uniquely position Universal Shipbuilding Corporation to satisfy deverse vessel requirements.
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