Japan’s defense ministry has awarded Mitsubishi Heavy Industries a contract to build the first two of a new class of multirole frigates for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), the shipbuilder announced on November 1.
The new class of 3,900-ton ships is expected to comprise a total of four vessels.
MHI did not reveal the value of the contract saying only that the frigates are scheduled to be delivered in March 2022.
The company also noted that this is the first time MHI is building a vessel for the JMSDF acting as a main contractor.
The first of two 130-meter ships will be constructed at MHI’s Nagasaki shipyard while the second will be built at subcontractor Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding’s Tamano shipyard.
The multirole frigates will be more compact for operations near the shores of Japan. They will be deployed to international peace and humanitarian missions in addition to performing anti-piracy activities. According to MHI, the frigates will also have mine countermeasure capabilities.