The term “FFM” represents a distinct vessel category within the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), blending attributes from ‘Mine’ and ‘Multipurpose’ with the traditional ‘Frigate’.
A unique feature of this vessel is its mine-clearing capability, which sets it apart from conventional mine-sweeping ships. Furthermore, these next-gen FFMs emphasize compact design, cost-efficiency, and reduced crew requirements.
The new FFM’s standard displacement will be approximately 4,880 tons, seeing an increase from the Mogami-class’s 3,900 tons. It will extend its length to around 142m, and its breadth will be widened to about 17m.
Equipped with features like the VLS (Vertical Launch System) and a multifunction sonar, it is expected to house a 62-caliber 5-inch gun, RWS units, a Sea RAM, torpedoes, anti-ship missile launchers, and will have the capacity to carry either a patrol helicopter or a flying-type sensor.
Moreover, its engine configuration consists of one gas turbine engine, two diesel engines using the CODAG system, and dual-axis screw propellers. The ship is expected to reach a top speed of over 30 knots, making it one of the most formidable assets in the JMSDF’s fleet.