The Pr.159, SKR-1 is a rank V Soviet frigate with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during Update 1.79 "Project X" when the Soviet fleet was implemented into the game.
Survivability and armour
Being a light anti-submarine frigate, the Pr. 159 Petya class has very little substantial armour, with just 5 mm turret armour and the 15 mm splash guard for the forward turret. While these may minimize damage caused by small calibre HE rounds and splash damage from other areas being hit, they will not protect the turrets from direct fire starting at even the size of 12.7 mm machine guns. General survivability is not much better, as the primary armament is limited to two large turrets. Losing turrets is common on the Petya and will result in your fire being halved at the least. Furthermore, the low crew count of 98 means that a very low damage threshold can be sustained on major components before the ship is destroyed. Thankfully the Petya has a few aces up its sleeve to counteract these issues. To begin with, the crew are very spaced out in the ship, meaning that you will most likely survive the first few salvos. Secondly, because the hull has such a low freeboard for the majority of the ship, most of the machinery and ammunition is protected by the sea.
Overall the ship's survivability is below average, with its low crew and few turrets being the brunt of the issue.
Mobility, while very similar to the Pr. 35, is lacklusture especially as the twin gas turbines are gone. Starting at 51 km/h stock, the ship lags behind destroyers and most cruisers, and cannot hold a candle to the higher-rank MTBs that it might face. However, of the corvette/frigate class, the Pr. 159 has a distinct advantage, often holding a 10 km/h advantage or more over other ships of its size. These are rarely faced however, and as such, it cannot be expected that you will ever be leading the charge in matches. The turn radius of the ship is reasonable, however, the initial snap can be very deceiving when initiating a turn. One major issue when manoeuvring the Petya is the existence of the hull-mounted sonar system. This dips far below the keel of the hull and can often be caught on rocks. Special attention must be given when manoeuvring around shoals and beaches where the sonar might holdfast.
|Game Mode||Upgrade Status||Maximum Speed (km/h)|
Modifications and economy
The primary armament of the Pr. 159 is where the ship shines. It is armed with a pair of AK-726 76 mm semi-automatic gun turrets. Each of these turrets contains two guns firing a total of 90 rounds per minute. This firing rate allows for the ship to dismantle any opponent vessel in seconds, from MTBs all the way up to destroyer leaders and light cruisers. These guns have very nice post-penetration effects on targets lacking armour and can be extremely dangerous should you sneak up on someone. This firing rate comes at a price, however, and that price is two-fold. Firstly, the guns overheat quickly, barrages tend to be limited and the guns must be watched for overheat. Secondly, the shells have a relatively short range and their effectiveness drops off quickly beyond 5 kilometres when shells begin to miss and fire arcs become too great to regularly hit the target.
The Pr. 159 is armed with a single quintuple 406 mm torpedo launcher armed with the SET-40 lightweight anti-submarine torpedo. The launcher has very good launch angles and five torpedoes are quite reasonable however that is where the praise ends. The torpedoes have only one operational setting, with no option for upgrades and are slow. At 54 km/h, a cruiser with keen eyes can outrun these torpedoes and with an 8-kilometre range, they are not going to reach much past the effective range of your turrets. Worse still, the torpedoes have a meagre 80 kg warhead, which will not destroy ships larger than a corvette in one hit. These torpedoes have limited use in surprising unsuspecting captains should you face something armoured such as a heavy cruiser, and can be used should the main battery fall silent, however, they are unlikely to destroy anything without multiple hits and must be used at a range where they cannot be avoided easily.
The Petya rounds off the armament with four RBU-2500 anti-submarine rocket launchers, each carrying 12 rockets to total 48. As being rockets they have a limited effective engagement range, high arcs of fire and are very hard to aim in conjunction with primary weapons, however should a small boat decide to get too close or should you decide to engage a target at point-blank range, the barrage of 26 kg warheads smashing into the superstructure and hull of the hostile ship will almost certainly cripple it, if not outright sink it.
The Pr. 159 has access to search and targeting radar for the AK-726 76 mm semi-automatic gun turrets, making anti-air capabilities much more advanced than most of the ships it will face at its br. The location of the radars are in a similar manner they are located in the Pr. 35 (bridge is the main difference between both). However, this does not affect the performance of said radars. It is equipped with an MR-302 Rubka air/surface search radar and an MR-105 Turel fire control radar, both available in most of the cold war soviet anti submarine frigates. The MR-302 is located on top of the main mast with two Don navigation radar right below it located at port and starboard from the mast. MR-105 is located on top of the bridge (refer to picture). Enemy pilots do not account the existence of this radars as they are uncommon in game, use surprise to your advantage. Targeting radar makes engaging enemy planes an easier task with standard HE ammo. When using HE-VT, AA engagements will be finished in couple seconds. Be aware of the distance as in engagements with planes in distances smaller than 1km, weapons tend to overshoot even when following target indicator. Engage air targets as soon as you see them in a relatively close distance (2-10 km). Proximity shells will make this task easier.
|MR-302 Rubka - Air/surface Search Radar|
|MR-105 Turel - Fire Control Radar|
|10,000 m||100 m||±155°||0°/+80°|
Usage in battles
The Petya excels in close-quarter brawling with anything its shells can penetrate, especially in dispatching torpedo boats and early destroyers. This vehicle is heavily reliant on both map and BR; it will crush 3.7 and below within seconds, but against ships of 4.7 and above will struggle heavily even within its gun range. It is best not to spawn this vehicle on maps consisting of the open ocean unless you are left with no choice; due to its limited range the Petya needs to exploit cover in order to close the gap without being targeted by guns with over twice the range. Critically, captains should avoid the wide-open ocean, as they will draw fire from targets that they cannot engage themselves. Because the guns only fire HE, captains of the Petya should avoid engaging cruisers, as they may find penetrating and damaging the components of cruisers difficult even in close quarters.
Captains of the Petya should attempt to close the distance on any target and engage with their guns within 5 kilometres for maximum effectiveness, reserving torpedoes and rockets for extreme close quarters or emergencies. Prior to unlocking HE-VT, Petya lacks in anti air capabilities but thanks to targeting radar, Petya can engage targets with relative ease. The HE-VT once unlocked should be the primary armament, due to a slightly greater explosive mass and better effectiveness against planes. The rocket launcher has no anti submarine use in game but provides a one shot kill when fired at a small vessel, it can also be used as rudimentary artillery to fire above obstacles due to the flying arc. They can be used to engage targets at distance but the recommended engagement distance should be at 3km, this is to compensate travelling speed. Torpedoes, while limited firing arc, are your main weapon against heavily armoured vessels like HMS Belfast, two of them will disable the cruiser. Rockets can also be used against them since, thanks to the high explosive power, they can lit on fire all cruisers when fired at engine compartment. They will also cripple or destroy main weaponry that the 76 mm cannons may not penetrate.
Pros and cons
- Very good rate of fire for its calibre
- No blind spots for turrets
- Can deploy rocket launcher after research
- Has more ammo for rocket launcher than Pr.35
- Lacks dedicated AA guns
- No hull armour
- Rockets fly slower than those from Pr.35
The Pr. 159, NATO reporting name Petya-Class, was a class of patrol & anti-submarine warfare frigates built for the Soviet Navy during the 1960s. The ships were the first Soviet vessels with gas turbine propulsion and were optimised for anti-submarine warfare. In total, 54 vessels were built, including some that remain in service today with foreign navies.
The Petya-class displaced 1,150 tons full load and had a crew complement of 90. The ships were the first class of ships in Soviet service to be fitted with a gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system, composed of a single diesel engine for cruising and two gas turbines for additional speed. Being designed for anti-submarine warfare, the ships were armed with extensive anti-submarine armament, including four RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers and a quintuple 406 mm (16-inch) torpedo tube mount capable of firing guided anti-submarine torpedoes. The ships were also fitted with a full sonar suite for detecting submarines. Finally, two AK-726 automatic 76 mm guns were fitted, one fore and aft, for multipurpose anti-air and anti-ship capabilities.
In total, 54 ships were at the Kaliningrad and Khabarovsk shipyards; some ships were retained for service with the Soviet navy, while numerous other vessels were sold to foreign users including Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Syria and Vietnam. In Indian service, the vessels were known as the Arnala-class and classified as corvettes - due to the poor quality of the ship’s hulls and delays with refits, one of the Indian vessels was lost at sea in 1990. The Russian Navy retired their Petya-class frigates between 1988 and 1992; the ship class remains in service with the navies of several other countries.
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