Japan’s Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding has received an order from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo to build a third Hibiki-class ocean surveillance ship for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), an MoD spokesperson told Jane’s on 21 May.
The SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) vessel, which is expected to have pennant number AOS 5203, is set to be built at the Mitsui facility in the Japanese city of Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, for JPY18.3 billion (USD164 million).
According to the MoD, the acoustic surveillance ship, which is set to be launched in autumn 2019 and commissioned in March 2021, will feature a more advanced Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) than that fitted onto the first two ships of the class – JS Hibiki (AOS 5201) and JS Harima (AOS 5202) – which entered service in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
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