04 March 2021
by Kosuke Takahashi
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its third Hibiki-class ocean surveillance ship in a ceremony held on 4 March in the Japanese city of Tamano, southern Okayama Prefecture.
The JMSDF commissioned Aki , its third Hibiki-class ocean surveillance ship, in a ceremony held on 4 March in Tamano City, southern Okayama Prefecture. (JMSDF)
Named Aki (with pennant number AOS 5203), the small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) vessel was inducted into the service’s Ocean Surveillance Division 1 at the Kure naval base in Hiroshima Prefecture shortly after being handed over by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (E&S), a JMSDF spokesperson told Janes .
Aki was laid down in March 2019 and launched in January 2020. Janes understands that Aki was being built for JPY26.6 billion (USD248 million) under a contract awarded in 2018.
The 67 m-long vessel, which has a standard displacement of about 2,900 tonnes, features 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.
The Hibiki class has an overall beam of 29.9 m, a draught of 7.5 m, and a top speed of 11 kt, according to the JMSDF. The vessels, each of which have a crew of 40, also feature a flight deck for helicopter operations.
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The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its third Hibiki-class ocean surveillance...