MSDF to Launch Smaller-Size Destroyer amid Crew Shortage

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 12 (Jiji Press)--In response to a personnel shortage, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force will launch as early as next month a new type of multimission destroyer that is smaller than existing ones and can sail with a smaller crew.

The new 3,900-ton destroyer, called FFM, is set to be put into commission in 2022. It will patrol and monitor Chinese warships and others mainly in the East China Sea.

The MSDF is facing recruitment difficulties as young people shy away from group living on ships and working at sea, where smartphone use is restricted.

According to the Defense Ministry, the recruitment of fixed-term MSDF members, who carry out the MSDF's field-level operations, stood at about 60 pct of the planned number in fiscal 2018 and 90 pct in fiscal 2019.

The FFM vessel will be operated with a crew of about 100, half the figure for conventional destroyers and a third of that for Aegis destroyers. To improve operational efficiency, several crews will work on the new vessel in rotation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press