Elco 80 ft PT-556

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Rank 4 USA
USS Helena Pack
Elco 80 ft PT-556
GarageImage Elco 80 ft PT-556.jpg
Elco 80 ft PT-556
Purchase:1 600 Specs-Card-Eagle.png
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GarageImage Elco 80 ft PT-556.jpg

The Elco 80 ft PT-556 Thunderbolt is a premium rank III American motor torpedo boat with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.83 "Masters of the Sea" as part of the fleet release into Open Beta Test.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull40 mm (wood)
Superstructure15 mm (wood)
Number of section3
Displacement61 t
Crew12 people

Similar to the other Elco boats, the PT-556 has 6.35mm of hardened armor protecting the helmsman, who is a critical crew member. With a crew complement of 12 predominately operating guns above deck, this boat can be knocked out relatively easily. The quad Oerlikon mount on the rear features a protected "basket" with an open top, sporting the same 6.35mm sides and back with a 12.7mm front plate.


Speedforward / back
AB105 / 28 km/h
RB75 / 20 km/h

This boat weighs as much as the heavier PT-565 while maintaining the top speed of the lighter PT-314, helping this boat live up to the nickname "Thunderbolt" which is scribed on the rear quad mount. With a top speed of 106km/hr in Arcade Battles, this boat is among the fastest in game. Additionally it sports a high reverse speed and is capable of tight turns.

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB3 410 Sl icon.png
RB2 060 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts210 000 Sl icon.png
Aces590 Ge icon.png
Research Aces710 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 90 / 140 / 50 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 148 / 148 / 148 % Rp icon.png
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
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Rudder Replacement
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Propeller Replacement
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Engine Maintenance
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Tool Set
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Fire Protection System
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New Pumps
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20 mm HE magazines
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Anti-Air Armament Targeting
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Mods ammo.png
20 mm AP magazines
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Auxiliary Armament Targeting
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Mods tank ammo.png
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Primary Armament Targeting
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Artillery Support


Primary armament

Turret20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II autocannon
Ammunition1800 rounds
Belt capacity60 rounds
Fire rate450 shots/min
Vertical guidance-5° / 60°
Turret4 x 20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II autocannon
Ammunition7200 rounds
Belt capacity60 rounds
Fire rate450 shots/min
Vertical guidance-15° / 85°

The primary armament consists of a quadmounted 20mm Oerlikon Mk.II cannons aft and a single one at the front. They are extremely deadly to light targets and aircraft. Both turrets have fast traverse rate and good elevation angles so there should be no problem in engaging aircraft. Short bursts are all it should take to take out any unarmoured targets or aircraft. The ballistics should be familiar from the other PT boats. You should have some trigger discipline because you don't have enough ammunition to "spray and pray". The HE or universal ammunition belt should be used because of the general lack of armour around your battle rating.

The placement of the quad mount makes for a forward dead zone of roughly 20 degrees and roughly 45 degrees left and right of the bow. This can limit the ability to engage targets with maximum closing speed and maximum firepower at once.

Secondary armament

Turret37 mm AN-M4 cannon
Ammunition420 rounds
Belt capacity30 rounds
Fire rate150 shots/min
Main article: AN-M4 (37 mm)

The secondary armament on this boat is one 37 mm AN-M4 cannon at the front of the boat. The low rate of fire and low velocity makes it unsuitable for general use but it can save you if your 20 mm cannons are taken out. It is unsuitable for anti-aircraft because of the problems mentioned above and the fact that it has poor elevation angles. The high explosive shells also self-destruct so you can't engage with them past medium ranges. The penetration rates of the armour-piercing shells are on par with the main Oerlikon cannons so you can have it as your backup for armoured targets.

Anti-aircraft armament

2 х Turret2 x 12.7 mm AN-M2 machine gun
Ammunition4000 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Fire rate577 shots/min
Main article: AN-M2 (12.7 mm)
The PT-556 utilizes the same AA layout as the PT-565, however it does offer twice the ammunition load at 8000 rounds for the two dual-mount 12.7mm AN-M2 emplacements.

Torpedo armament

Main article: Mk.13 (569 mm)

The torpedo armament is identical to the PT-565.

Additional armament

Setup 14 x 569 mm Mk.13 torpedo

Describe the available additional armaments of the ship: depth charges, mines, torpedoes. Talk about their positions, available ammunition and launch features such as dead zones of torpedoes.

If there is no additional armament, remove this section.

Usage in battles

Describe the technique of using this ship, the characteristics of her use in a team and tips on strategy. Abstain from writing an entire guide – don't try to provide a single point of view, but give the reader food for thought. Talk about the most dangerous opponents for this vehicle and provide recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of playing with this vehicle in various modes (AB, RB, SB).


Tier Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
I Dry-Docking Tool Set 20 mm HE Anti-Air Armament Targeting
II Rudder Replacement Fire Protection System Smokescreen 20 mm AP Auxiliary Armament Targeting M80
III Propeller Replacement Primary Armament Targeting
IV Engine Maintenance New Pumps Artillery Support
This is a premium vehicle: all modifications are unlocked on purchase

Pros and cons


  • Main armament consists of five hard-hitting 20 mm Oerlikon cannons
  • Fast and agile as it is a motor boat
  • Can carry 4 x torpedoes, 2 on each side
  • AA defence consisting of 4 x 12.7 mm AN-M2 machine guns which provide enough protection
  • 37 mm gun can be equipped with AP shells
  • 37 mm AN-M4 rounds are pure HE or pure AP and no mix


  • 20 mm cannons have low velocity and therefore are hard to aim
  • Is very prone to damage
  • Ammunition storage next to fuel tank
  • 37 mm gun is not accurate
  • No 40 mm gun at this BR is an absolute disadvantage


PT-556 was an Elco 80-foot class Motor Torpedo Boat of the United States Navy. It was laid down by the Electric Launch Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ, on 1 July 1943. She was launched on 16 September 1943 and completed and commissioned on 20 October 1943.

PT-556 had a length of 80 ft, a beam of 20 ft 8 in, and a draft of 5 ft. The displacement was 56 tons and it was manned by a crew of 17. The ship was powered by three 1,500 shp Packard W-14 M2500 gasoline engines, turning three shafts; a speed of 41 knots could be achieved. The armament consisted of two twin .50 cal mounts (total of four machine guns), four 21 inch torpedoes, and one Elco Thunderbolt quadruple 20 mm mount (total of four 20 mm cannons). The PT-556 was one of the few torpedo boats to be equipped with the Elco Thunderbolt mount.

PT-556 was first assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Twenty-Nine (MBTRon 29), under the command of CDR S. Stephen Daunis, USN. MBTRon 29 was assigned to the Mediterranean and was based at Calvi, Corsica, and later Leghorn, Italy. Operating under the British Coastal Forces, the squadron saw action along the northwestern coast of Italy and southern coast of France.

PT-556 was transferred to the Soviet Union on 12 April 1945, and was reclassified as TK-435. Her fate after transfer is unknown.


  • Naval tutorial screen features a graphic of the Elco 80 ft PT-556.
  • Another graphic example of the Elco 80 ft PT-556 after completing the tutorial.

See also

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;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the ship;
  • other literature.

Electric Launch Company (Elco) Ships
Motor Torpedo Boats (PT) 
77' PT  Elco 77 ft PT-20 · Elco 77 ft PT-59
80' PT  Elco 80 ft PT-103 · Elco 80 ft PT-109 · Elco 80 ft PT-314 · Elco 80 ft PT-556 · Elco 80 ft PT-565

USA boats
Motor torpedo boats  58 ft PT-3 · 89 ft PT-810 · 94 ft PT-811 · Elco 77 ft PT-20 · Elco 80 ft PT-103 · Elco 80 ft PT-109 · Elco 80 ft PT-314 · Elco 80 ft PT-556
  Elco 80 ft PT-565 · Higgins 78 ft PT-200 · Higgins 78 ft PT-71 · Higgins 81 ft PT-6
Motor gun boats  80 ft Nasty · Elco 77 ft PT-59 · PGH-2
Motor torpedo gun boats  Asheville (PGM-84) · LCS(L)(3)

USA premium ships
Motor torpedo boats  58 ft PT-3 · 94 ft PT-811 · Elco 80 ft PT-109 · Elco 80 ft PT-556
Sub-chasers  165 ft PC-466 Carmi
Destroyers  USS Welborn (DD-195) · USS Bennion (DD-662) · USS Cowell (DD-547) · USS Moffett (DD-362) · USS Phelps (DD-360)
Light cruisers  USS Helena (CL-50)