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Storozhevoi Korabl (Project 159)

Light Frigate / Submarine Hunter Warship

Storozhevoi Korabl was the Soviet designation given to the Petya-class light frigates of which fifty-four were completed during the Cold War and served various powers.
Authored By: JR Potts, AUS 173d AB and Dan Alex | Edited: 4/26/2018
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Year: 1961
Status: Decommissioned, Out-of-Service
Ships-in-Class: 54
Named Ships: A total of 54 vessels were built to the class standard.
Roles: Blue Water Operations; Fleet Support; Hunter; Direct-Attack;
Complement: 90
Length: 268.5 ft (81.84 m)
Width: 30.2 ft (9.20 m)
Height: 9.5 ft (2.90 m)
Displacement (Surface): 1,150 tons
Propulsion: CODAG (COmbined Diesel-And-Gas): 2 x Gas turbine engines developing 30,000 horsepower with 1 x Diesel engine delivering 6,000 horsepower; 2 x Shafts.
Speed (Surface): 30 kts (35 mph)
Range: 4,870 nm (5,604 miles; 9,019 km)
Operators: Ethiopia; India; Soviet Union; Syria; Vietnam
Modern naval frigate warships are a class of ship built for many roles - including that of hunting enemy submarines. The Petya-class of the Soviet Navy covered a class of light frigates during the Cold War decades with the name given to the lead ship being "Storozhevoi Korabl", Project 159. All the ships in the group were constructed at two Soviet shipyards - twenty-two by Yantar Kaliningrad and thirty-two by Khabarovsk. The Soviet ships operated for several decades before being retired into the late-1990s - though some remain in service with foreign navies even today (2016).

The class marked the first gas turbine-powered warships of the Soviet Navy.

The class constituted light frigate of similar design to the Mirka-class, having improved speed, weapons support and detection electronics. Petyas were divided into three classes: "Petya I", "Petya II" and "Petya III" - all built during the span of 1961 to 1969. Petya I supported heavy anti submarine weapons (including homing torpedoes and depth charges) and carried a depth sonar. Petya II included an additional bank of five torpedo tubes and Petya III replaced the 406mm tubes with three 533mm torpedo tubes.

Power was from a CODAG (COmbined Diesel And Gas) arrangement which paired 2 x Gas turbines of 30,000 horsepower with 1 x Diesel unit of 6,000 horsepower - providing speeds reaching 30 knots and ranges out to 4,870 nautical miles.

The crew complement numbered ninety personnel and there were no facilities to launch and retrieve navy helicopters off the stern. The "Slim Net" and "Hawk Skreech" systems were carried as was the "Herkules" hull-mounted sonar fit and a dipping sonar. Displacement was 950 tons under standard load and 1,150 tons under full load. The ship's profile saw the mass of the superstructure contained forward of midships with low-profile funnels aft of this. A forward and rear turret dominated the rest of the silhouette. A main mast was set along the aft section of the superstructure.

Export sales to foreign navies were a way to not decommission all the ships early as well as to create (or further strengthen) ties with foreign governments like that of Ethiopia, India and Syria. The Soviets retained some ships for parts to support these overseas sales. The Indian Navy purchased eleven of the Petya III ships but all have since been sold for scrapping. Vietnam purchased a batch of six and some remain in service (2016). Ethiopia purchased four of the vessels but these are now decommissioned. Syria has two boats on active patrol (Al Assari, Al Hirasa) (2016).


2 x 76mm Dual-Purpose (DP) guns in twin-gunned turrets.
4 x RBU6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launcher (2 x 1 on some vessels).
5 x 406mm torpedo launchers (Up to 10 x total tubes on some vessels).

3 x 533mm torpedo tubes.

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