Japan’s navy welcomed the new frigate Kumano today. The multifunction ship is the second of the 30FFM frigate of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Defence Blog has learned.
Kumano belongs to the class are envisioned as frigate-sized vessels with destroyer capabilities, said the Japanese shipbuilding company Mitsui E & S Shipbuilding Co. On Thursday, it has launched the new 30FFM multi-function frigate in Okayama.
The frigate was named after Kumano River and shares her name with a World War II heavy cruiser Kumano and Cold War destroyer escort Kumano.
The next generation Japanese frigate displaces over 5,000 tons at full load and combines compactness with manpower saving. The ships of the class are expected to replace the Asagiri- and Abukuma-class destroyers.
With the manpower savings concept, JMSDF hopes to address its personnel shortage issues. The vessels will be crewed by some 100 sailors, a notable decrease compared to conventional and Aegis destroyers.
Japan plans to build up 22 vessels in the class vessel at a unit price of about $461 million.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the shipyard will now proceed to the fitting out stage of the new frigate, ahead of its delivery set for the next year.