Type: Heavy missile attack ship
Year of introduction: 2017
Speed: 34 knots
1x OTO Melara 76mm gun
1x Mk II "Notachi" CIWS
12-Cell VLS for twelve anti air missiles
16x Harpoon launchers (only HNS Kitsune carrys 16 Harpoon launchers, remaining ships carry eight launchers)
2x M2 Browning - manned machine guns
4x twin torpedo launchers for MU90 lightweight torpedoes (two mounted on each side of the hull)
Aircraft: Small to medium sized helicopter can land on landing pad.
Kitsune is sub variant of the Japanese Oda class. Originally ten ships were ordered, but that was then cut to six and finally to only four. Ships were constructed by Aichii Shipbuilding Company and Japanese Mitstubishi Heavy Industries (Honen division). These ships were ordered as replacement for six aging Sawano missile corvettes. While only few meters longer then Oda class, it carry the same radar and sensor (electronic in general) systems, and its weapons were more or less the same. It armament consist of OTO Melara 76mm naval gun. One Mk II Notachi CIWS for close in defenses. Twelve VLS cells which carry's only anti-air missiles (although any other kind can be added as well). Two M2 Browning machine guns and four twin torpedo launchers for lightweight torpedoes. Its main weapon however is its Harpoon launchers. It can carry from eight to sixteen launchers. However while larger amount of Harpoons allow more firepower, it also needed more space. Only Kitsune iself carry all sixteen launchers, while other three ships carry eight.
Kitsune class is suitable for hit and run tactics, it is fast, very maneuverable and well armed. With its firepower it can strike any surface target, from smallest patrol boat to aircraft carrier with deadly precision. It is not designed to go toe vs toe with large surface combatants like destroyers, although it can attack it without problem with its missiles. In short Kitsune is basically one big missile boat. Honen naval command plan to replace Harpoon launchers and missiles with its own domestic missile which was to be introduced into navy from 2024.
110 HNS Kitsune - commissioned in 2018 built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Honen Division)in Mizuho Home port - Toyoma
111 HNS Tanuki - commissioned in 2018 built by Aichii Shipbuilding Company in Omorika Home port - Gehi
112 HNS Houou - commissioned in 2019 built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Honen Division) in Mizuho Home port - Gehi
113 HNS Mizuchi - commissioned in 2020 built by Aichii Shipbuilding Company in Omorika Home port - Tabakuma