Shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has launched a new multirole frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

JMSDF said on its Twitter account that the naming and launching ceremony for its fourth Mogami-class frigate was held at MHI’s Nagasaki Works yard on 10 December.

This fourth Mogami-class frigate has been christened ‘Mikuma’, derived from Mikuma River at Oita prefecture in Kyusyu, Japan.

The Mogami-class frigates being built for the JMSDF feature capabilities and technologies that will enable the force to improve their deterrence and response to various situations, and other multi-mission capabilities.

The vessels of the class have a standard displacement of some 3,900t. Each frigate will have a length of up to 130m and width of 16m and will be equipped with a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine.

Other weapons include a Mk 45 gun, two remote weapon stations over the bridge, one SeaRAM, a 16-cell Mk 41 vertical launching system (VLS) at the bow, an SH-60L helicopter, torpedoes, eight anti-ship missiles, as well as decoy launchers.

In March this year, MHI launched JMSDF’s first Mogami type multirole frigate, known by the frigates’ class name ‘Mogami’.

Mogami’s launch was delayed due to an issue with the vessel’s gas turbine engine. It is anticipated to enter service next year.

The second vessel, Kumano, was launched by Mitsui E&S Group in November last year.

Noshiro is the third frigate and was launched in June this year. The JMSDF is expected to acquire 22 ships of this class.