Ships / Patrol boats / P-6 class

P-6 class

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Motor torpedo boat


    Project 183 Bolshevik (official Soviet name)
    P-6 class (NATO reporting name)
    Sinpo class (North Korean production)
    Sinnam class (alternative name for Sinpo)

    Early 1950's

    Leningrad yard

    1952 - 1960 (USSR)
    1958 - 1966 (China)

    North Korea

    560 built in the USSR
    At least dozens in China
    At least 40 in North Korea


    Low production costs
    High speed
    Limited effectiveness main armament
    Carries only 2 torpedoes


The P-6 class is a motor torpedo boat of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1950's to complement the older P-4 class. These motor torpedo boats were used in large numbers from shore bases and were intended to intercept incoming enemy frigates and destroyers. The P-6 class was widely used by Soviet forces during the early decades of the Cold War but is obsolete nowadays. The hull of the P-6 class was later used in the Komar class which carried anti-ship missiles instead of torpedoes. In China the Swatow (Type 55A Shantou) class gunboat was developed on the P-6 hull.


The P-6 is a much larger vessel than the earlier P-4 and has better sea going ability. The P-6 has a classic motor torpedo layout with a small cabine in the middle, the engines at the rear and the torpedo tubes at each side of the cabin. A small gun turret is located in front of and behind the cabin. The hull was made of a treated plywood sandwich to keep the weight down. A retractable radar mast is fitted for navigation and surface search.


The P-6 is armed with two 533mm torpedo tubes that launch the Type 53 torpedo. The P-6 is usually fitted with World War 2 era straight running torpedoes although some early Cold War designs can also be used. Instead of torpedoes two mines or 12 depth charges can be carried. On the front deck and the aft deck a turret with two 25mm 2M3 autocannon are fitted. These guns can be used against aircraft and surface targets and are manually aimed.


The P-6 has four diesel engines that are directly connected to a single shaft with a fixed pitch propeller. The engines cannot be set to reverse which hampers manuevering in confined spaces. The diesel engines can lay a smoke screen by injecting fuel in the exhaust. The maximum speed is 43 knots. When travelling at 30 knots the operational range is 450 nm.


The P-6 class is one of the most produced military vessels in the world totalling over well over 600 ships. Large quantities were used by the USSR navy and exported to various allies, some of which also produced them under license. With the introduction of missile armed attack craft the motor torpedo boat became obsolete and most were scrapped in the 1970's and 80's. Only Egypt has a number of modified vessels in active use.


P-6 class

The P-6 class is the well known NATO reporting name for Project 183 motor torpedo boat. It can be identfied from the earlier P-4 in being larger and having two turrets with autocannon instead of the single heavy machine gun mount. The Chinese production P-6 and North Korean Sinpo are similar to the original P-6. The same hull design was used in the Soviet Komar class missile armed fast assault craft and in a steel form in the Chinese Shantou class.

  • Specifications:
  • P-6
TypeMotor torpedo boat
Crew20 max, normally 14 incl 2 officers
Displacement64 t standard, 73 t full load
Length25.7 m
Width6.1 m
Draught1.8 m
Machinery4x Kolomna M50F-4 diesel, 4.800 hp combined
Propulsion4 shafts
Speed41 to 45 kt
Range450 nm at 30 kt
SensorsSurface search: Skin Head
Weapons2x 533mm torpedo tube
2x Twin 25mm 2M3 turret
12x Depth charge rack
Weapon12x 533mm torpedo tube with single Type 53 torpedo or naval mine
Weapon22x Turret with twin 25mm 2M3 autocannon, 1.000 rounds per gun
Weapon312x depth charge rack behind torpedo tubes


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