The Pr.122bis (MPK-163) is a rank II Soviet sub-chaser with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during Update 1.79 "Project X" along with the initial Soviet naval tree.
Survivability and armour
The MPK-163 has the following structural layout:
- Hull: 8 mm, steel
- Superstructure: 4 mm, steel
Armour on this ship is largely non-existent. The only armour to be found is on the gun turrets, and maxes out at 12 mm, meaning anything larger than 7.7 mm in calibre will punch through at nearly any range. The crew is thankfully plentiful and well-spaced throughout the ship, meaning you can tank a couple of hits before a total crew loss is observed. Engines are easily damaged and have a tendency to lead to fires aboard the ship. Ammunition stowage is decently protected, though remains vulnerable.
Straight-line speed is excellent when spaded; this vessel is capable of reaching 71 km/h in Arcade Battles, easily capable of outrunning stock S-boats. For its size, the boat is extremely fast and somewhat manoeuvrable, however like its predecessor, the length of the boat makes it difficult to navigate in shallow waters or tight corridors, and stopping distance is also an issue.
|Game Mode||Upgrade Status||Maximum Speed (km/h)|
Modifications and economy
The MPK-163 carries a single 85 mm 90-K cannon as its main armament. The 90-K is a decent main weapon with a moderate fire rate of 17 rounds per minute (3.5-second reload). The weapon itself is decent against larger ships, but lacks lethality against faster vessels and aircraft due to its lower fire rate (compared to the ship's 70-K autocannon).
The gun has access to three main shell types - the O-365K high-explosive (HE) shell, the O-365D time-fused (HE-TF) shell, and the BR-365 armour-piercing (APHEBC) shell. Of these rounds, the HE is almost always the best against enemy boats as it has the most explosive filler, and consequently, does the most damage. The HE-TF round is slightly worse as it detonates on a timed fuse, meaning the accuracy of the shell depends on crew skills. Finally, the APHEBC shells are rarely usable due to their low damage potential, only being useful against armoured targets like the soviet armoured boats. For good measure, bring mostly HE shells, and a bit of HE-TF and APHEBC shells just in case the situation arises.
The secondary gun is a 37 mm 70-K gun with a high rate of fire for its calibre and is most effective as an AA gun, and should be left as one unless pesky patrol boats manage to surpass your large primary, then switch to this gun to take care of them quickly, as this gun has an exquisite firing arc on your boat and a good turn rate. It really isn't effective against other sub-chasers of your size.
The MPK-163 also carries 3 twin DShK machine gun mounts. The 12.7 mm DShK machine gun is a heavy machine gun, similar to the M2 Browning used by the Americans and the Vickers guns used by the British. This gun fires from a fixed 50-round magazine and will need to be reloaded after the magazine is expended. The gun itself is rather mediocre, and will struggle to hit targets reliably at ranges exceeding 1.5 km. However, at shorter ranges, the weapons can be highly lethal to small vessels or aircraft. The 12.7 mm machine guns do not get access to any ammunition belt upgrades - the default one is the only belt available.
The RBM mortars launch explosive projectiles about 36 m to the side of the ship, perpendicular to the ship's axis. The mortar charges are a proximity weapon and explode on impact.
Usage in battles
The MPK-163 is a very versatile large coastal vessel with adequate survivability, mobility and armament. This ship can be played as a "gunship" utilizing its heavy armament, or alternatively, be used to capture bases relying on its mobility and decent survivability.
The MPK-163 is a very well-armed vessel at its BR, and you should take advantage of this strength. The vessel's strongest armament is the 37 mm 70-K autocannon mounted at the rear of the ship. Therefore, it is advisable to switch to manually control this weapon and use it to shred any coastal vessels that you might face. However, the 37 mm has a very slow traverse speed along with the 85 mm whilst stock so it is advised to get the traverse upgrades after essential modules have been acquired. When fighting other sub-chasers or large vessels, use the 85 mm cannons since it takes about 3-4 shot in some cases to destroy them.
In general, the ship can be played using ambush or flanking tactics. Use islands and ground cover to hide your ship from enemy fire, and destroy any ships that sail into your line of fire; alternatively, flank the enemy and mow them down. Try to keep your broadside on the enemy vessels, as you can bring more guns on target. The MPK-163's overwhelming gun armament ensures that you can easily destroy any vessels or aircraft that you see. The 85 mm main gun is less effective against fast targets and should only be used against survivable, large targets such as the American SC-497. The DShKs are effective against ships and aircraft alike, but given that the 37 mm autocannon is more lethal, it is advisable to leave them under AI control.
The MPK-163 has two other favourable characteristics: good mobility and survivability. The ship can reach a top speed of 82 km/h in arcade and 49 km/h in realistic, which means that you can reach capture points quickly. Additionally, the ship has a crew count of 60 men, which means that your ship can take a couple of hits before going down. Utilize the good mobility and survivability to capture bases if your team's MTBs cannot capture them; again, shred any ships that come into your line-of-fire using your main armament. When capturing bases, be aware of enemy torpedoes, as the MPK-163 is a very large target. A single torpedo hit is almost always lethal.
Pros and cons
- Fast for a ship of its size
- Effective cannon
- Good secondaries and AA guns for its battle rating
- Lots of spaced-out crew
- Surprisingly good flanker with its heavy weapons and decent speed
- Reload on the main cannon is mediocre at best
- Large target
- Poor steering
- Has a habit of igniting easily
- The RBM mortars have limited firing angles.
The Pr.122bis, MPK-163 was a ship of the MPK Pr.122bis class (NATO designation: Kronshtadt class) with modified main armament. Commissioned in the 1950s, the Kronshtadt class served as border patrol vessels and were also capable of anti-submarine duties. MPK-163 was a unique member of the Pr.122bis class armed with one less 37 mm 70-K autocannon - her counterpart, the Pr.122bis, can be found in the Soviet coastal forces tech tree as a gift premium vessel.
In the late 1940s, the Pr.122bis or Kronshtadt class were developed as a 300-ton displacement small submarine chaser class for the Soviet Union's fleet, though they were substantially larger than wartime ship classes such as the MO-4 and OD-200 classes. The ships displaced 325 tons full load and had a crew of 50, though the MPK-163 had two more crew members and displaced 380 tons full load. Standard vessels were powered by three 1,200 hp diesel engines, though the MPK-163 had the centre diesel engine exchanged for a 1,000 hp gas turbine engine. This addition resulted in the fitting of a second funnel behind the first one, giving the ship its unique appearance compared to other vessels of its class.
The MPK-163 was also equipped with an 85 mm main cannon and three dual DShK heavy machine gun mounts. It also equipped a single 37 mm 70-K anti-aircraft cannon, which differed from the other ships of the class as the Pr.122bis ships carried two 70-K AA guns. As a submarine chaser, the MPK-163 was capable of fitting depth charges or naval mines. In total, 236 Pr.122bis vessels were produced, though the MPK-163 is a unique vessel among the Pr.122bis class. The MPK-163 entered service in December of 1955 as the last ship in the Pr.122 class with hull number 673; after 14 years of service, it was retired in April of 1970.
Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the ship;
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