The 30FFM frigate joins Japan Maritime Self Defense Force in 2022 and will feature an Advanced Integrated CIC.
The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, which commands one of the most advanced naval surface fleets in the world, may end up looking a lot like Star Trek when it takes control of its new advanced frigate in 2022. The 30FFM (formerly the 30DX) is an advanced next generation multi-mission frigate was shown at the Sea Air Space 2019 expo (via Naval News) by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to unveil some of its high-tech features.
The designation “30FFM” represents its Fast Frigate, Multi-Mission design, which was approved in the 30th year of the reign of Emperor Akihito. One of the key components of the ship is its circular Advanced Integrated CIC (Combat Information Center), which features a 360-degree wall covered in video monitors, augmented reality, and large tactile tables for mission planning.
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Normally, CICs box-shaped and darkened rooms located deep within ships to protect it from enemy fire while the captain receives a steady flow of information from various departments. The 30FFM’s offers a more open design with its ring of high-definition monitors attached to a network of outward-facing cameras. This allows captains to see all around the ship, and the compass lines at the bottom of the screens lets the crew immediately know which direction a point of interest is.
As an added benefit, the captain can also easily see the crew’s workstation monitors and their data, which isn’t possible with a rectangular design. Additionally, tasks such as engine control, damage control, firefighting can now take place from the CIC. This offers a higher level of redundancy and security for the advanced ship.
Meanwhile, augmented reality technology will help with navigation and asymmetric warfare in addition to the launch and recovery of unmanned vehicles.
The stealth frigate will displace 5,500 tons, measure 433 feet long, and will have a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots. Crewed by only 90 people, the ship will rely on a large degree of automation and it will primarily be used for anti-submarine warfare missions.
Weapons include a 57-millimeter rapid-fire deck gun, two smaller rapid-firing guns, and 16 vertical launch missile cells capable of launching surface to air, anti-submarine, and anti-ship missiles, along with a SeaRAM point defense system.