Shikishima-class patrol vessel

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JCG Shikishima(PLH-31).JPG
Shikishima class (PLH)
Class overview
Name: Shikishima class Patrol vessel Large with Helicopter
Builders: Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries
Operators: Ensign of the Japanese Coast Guard.svg Japan Coast Guard
Building: 1
Planned: 3
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Displacement: 6,500 tonnes (9,300 tonnes full load)
Length: 150.0m (492 ft)
Beam: 16.5m (54 ft)
Draft: 9.0m (29 ft)
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Range: 20,000 nmi
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • OPS-14 2D Air search
  • MS 1596 navigation radar
  • JMA 8303 surface search radar
Aircraft carried: 2 × Eurocopter AS332

The Shikishima Class PLH (Patrol vessel Large with Helicopter) of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) are the 2nd largest patrol vessels in the world after China Coast Guard 3901.[1] The two vessels were built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) shipyard.

The Shikishima patrol vessel entered service with the JCG in 1992. The vessel was initially deployed to escort plutonium transport ships travelling from Europe to Japan, and was subsequently used for patrol missions by the Yokohama Maritime Safety Department. The vessel frequently sails to south-east Asia to bolster international efforts against piracy in the Strait of Malacca. It can sail from Japan to Europe without making a port of call.[2]

The Shikishima Class incorporates a mono-hull design offering a large deck area. The ship is equipped with anti-air capabilities, unlike other coast guard vessels of Japan. The long-range cruising capability combined with its superior firepower makes the vessel ideal for long-range patrols and escort missions.

The ships have a long-range cruising capacity, making it a valuable asset for the Coast Guard. It can make voyages from Japan to Europe, for example, without the need to refuel.[3]

She is the only JCG ship equipped with anti-air radar and Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannons, so she has increased anti-air firepower. Usually, PL (Patrol vessels, Large) have only a navigation radar and a single-mounted 35mm or 40mm autocanon. And the JM61 20mm Vulcan on the single-mounted Remote weapon system later became a model for the 20mm RFS (Remote Firing System), which is on modern PMs and PSs such as the Tsurugi class PS. The OPS-14 2D air search radar is the Japanese counterpart of the American AN/SPS-49.[4]

At present, she is frequently sent on long cruises to Southeast Asia to foster international cooperation against piracy in the Strait of Malacca. She is also assigned to the policing mission of Senkaku Islands because of her cruising capacity. The JCG appreciate her capability, so they have been planning to build two more vessels based on this design.

Ships in the class[edit]

Pennant no. Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
PLH 31 Shikishima August 24, 1990 June 27, 1991 April 8, 1992 Yokohama
PLH 32 Akitsushima 2011 July, 2012 November 28, 2013 [3] Yokohama

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "China Coast Guard 3901". Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  2. ^ "Shikishima Class Patrol Vessels - Homeland Security Technology". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Large Patrol Vessel Akitsushima (PLH-32) Enters Japan's Coast Guard Service". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  4. ^ "Japan's Coast Guard acquires next-generation patrol vessel - WORLD -". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 

External links[edit]