Japan's Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co unveiled during the 2019 Maritime/Air Systems & Technologies Asia exhibition near Tokyo, which was held from 17 to 19 June, its design proposal to meet the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's (JMSDF's) plan for 12 offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).
The company is expected to compete against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Japan Marine United Corporation for the contract to build the OPVs over the coming decade, as envisaged in Japan's National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPGs), which were approved by the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December 2018.
In a brochure released at the show Mitsui states that its OPV, which would be able to carry unmanned aerial vehicles and two autonomous unmanned surface vessels, would be capable of conducting surveillance, coastal patrol, and intelligence-gathering operations.
The 100 m-long vessel, which would feature a 360° panoramic bridge, is expected to have a top speed of more than 25 kt and a displacement of 2,000 tonnes. It would have a crew of 23 and be armed with a 76 mm main gun and two 12.7 mm remotely operated machine guns.
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