Japan's ATLA reveals more details about next-gen OPV plans
The Japanese Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics Agency (ATLA) has confirmed that plans are under way to develop a next-generation offshore patrol vessel (OFV) for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
In a video released on 1 July ATLA said that the new OPVs will be based on a modular system enabling customisation and will be more capable than the current in-service OPVs through a combination of automation, adaptability, modularity, and sustainability.
For instance, the agency said that the OPVs will require fewer personnel and feature autonomous navigation systems, as well as advanced equipment for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. They will be armed with both small- and medium-calibre guns, and have a multipurpose hangar and deck space for modular payloads and ISO containerisation for mission modules. The OPVs, which will feature a low radar cross-section (RCS) design, are also being designed to be easy to maintain and have a low fuel consumption, it added.
“Discussions are under way right this moment to realise these next-generation OPVs,” added ATLA in the video, which was released after Japanese companies Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co unveiled their respective concept models for the JMSDF's next-generation OPV in 2019.
At the time MHI told Janes that this class would have a full-load displacement between 1,500 tonnes and 2,000 tonnes, and be 14 m wide and between 85 m and 100 m long. It is expected to be capable of attaining a maximum speed of more than 25 kt. Based on this OPV concept, MHI is also planning to offer a coast guard version exclusively for export.