Parchim-class corvette

The Parchim-class corvette (Soviet designation Project 1331M) was developed for the East German Navy in the late 1970s, and built by the Wolgast Peene-Werft. The ships were designed for coastal anti-submarine warfare. In case of an all-out NATO-Warsaw Pact war in Europe their prime targets would have been the small U-206 coastal submarines of the West German navy. The first ship, Wismar (now the Indonesian KRI Sutanto), was launched on 9 April 1981 in Rostock, and subsequently another 15 ships were built until 1986. To make production more economical, the Soviet Union agreed to purchase another 12 ships from Wolgaster Peenewerft built between 1986 and 1990, thereby effectively subsidising the East German shipbuilding industry.

Indonesian corvette KRI Cut Nyak Dien
Class overview
Name: Parchim class
Builders: Peenewerft, Wolgast, East Germany
Built: 1985-1989
Completed: 28
Active: 14 active in Indonesia, 6 active in Russia
Retired: 2 (Indonesia Navy)
General characteristics
Type: Anti-submarine corvette
Displacement: 800 tons standard, 950 tons full load
Length: 72 m (236 ft 3 in)
Beam: 9.40 m (30 ft 10 in)
Draught: 4.60 m (15 ft 1 in)
Installed power: 14,250 hp (10,630 kW)
Propulsion: 3 shaft M504 diesels
Speed: 24.7 knots (45.7 km/h)
Range: 2,100 nmi (3,900 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Complement: 80
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar: Positive-E, Spin Trough
  • Bass Tilt Hull Mounted Medium Frequency Sonar
  • 1 twin 57 mm gun AK-725
  • 1 twin 30 mm gun AK-230
  • 2 SA-N-5 MANPAD positions
  • 2 RBU-6000 anti submarine depth charge rocket launchers
  • 4 400 mm torpedo tubes (no for Indonesia Navy)
  • 12 depth charges

The ships of the Soviet Navy were named Parchim II by NATO. Though useful as a coastal ASW platform, the Soviet production of the similar but far more powerful Grisha class made this purchase even more illogical for the Soviet Navy. After German re-unification the former East German ships were sold to the TNI-AL (Indonesian Navy) in 1993. The Indonesian Navy extensively refurbished their Parchims, to the point where the refurbishing exceeded the cost of purchase. They are still in service, both in the Indonesian Navy and in the Russian Baltic Fleet.


The Parchims were built to replace the obsolete HAI III-class subhunters of the Volksmarine. Because of their displacement, over 800 tons in full load, they were able to leave coastal waters, even in rough weather. Propulsion consisted of 3 Soviet-designed M 504 56 cylinder diesel engines, a development of the M 503 A fast attack craft engine. The middle engine provided power to a variable-pitch propeller for cruising speed, while the two outer engines served two outer fixed-pitch propellers for boost speed. Total power output was 14,250 hp (10,630 kW). The ships were constructed with regular (stainless) steel and consisted of ten waterproof compartments.

Weapon systems and sensorsEdit

Air defenceEdit

Russian corvette Kazanets, photographed before its collision in Øresund.

For air defence, the ships were equipped with one double-barrel AK-230 30 mm gun and one double-barrel AK-725 57 mm gun. The Ak-725 double 57 mm AA gun, designed in 1959, was directed by the ESP-72 fire control system, which received ranging and target bearing information from an MR 103 (NATO codename 'MUFF COB') radar. The MR 103 had a 1.30 m (4.3 ft) parabolic radar dish, with an optical camera system slaved to it, as a backup system in case of failure or heavy EW environment. The barrels of the gun were water-cooled and belt-fed, with each belt containing 550 rounds, but the first round had to be manually chambered. In an emergency, the turret could be manually operated with an optical fire control system. The MR 103 radar system, already outdated when the Parchims were developed, used 1950s-style electromechanical systems, built around vacuum tubes. As a result, it wasn't considered to be an effective anti-missile system, or CIWS (Close-in weapon system), as was evidenced by a Soviet training accident in 1987 when a test missile drone accidentally locked in on a small Soviet Navy training vessel. Although the ship's AK-725 system kept firing until the moment of impact, no hits were scored and the ship was destroyed by the resulting fire, allegedly killing 39 crew members.

The AK-230 gun was a fully automatic, stabilized, NN-30 double-barrel, water-cooled, four-chamber revolver cannon. The guns had a 1,000 round per minute (rpm) rate of fire and were fed by independent 500 round ammunition belts. The regular associated radar system was the (NATO codename) DRUM TILT radar, which was not used in the Parchim class. According to some sources the AK-230 could not only be linked with the DRUM TILT but also with the MUFF COB radar system, but this is disputed by old East German naval sources. According to these East German sources, the AK-230 gun on the Parchim-class corvette was optically guided, thereby leaving the Parchim class without an effective CIWS, and therefore unable to counter anti-shipping missiles.

There were also two SA-N-5 (Naval SA-7 or Strela II) MANPAD positions aboard the Parchims. But without an effective, radar guided SAM missile system, the Parchims were left completely vulnerable to enemy precision guided anti-shipping weapons. This was a major restriction and confined the Parchims to brown water coastal operations, close to the protective air force and air defence umbrella.

The air search radar was the ubiquitous (NATO codename) STRUT CURVE radar. This radar had a 4 m (13 ft) parabolic radar dish, worked in the F-band frequency, and had a respectable 60 nautical miles (110 km) radar range against aircraft flying at 5,000 m (16,000 ft) height, and a less respectable 20 nautical miles (40 km) radar range against surface shipping or low flying aircraft. The electronic defense suite was very basic, and consisted of an IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) receiver and transmitter, and an 'ELOKA' multiband passive RWR antenna slaved to a double 16-cell chaff dispenser. All in all, air defence - or the lack of one - was a very restrictive factor in the tactical usefulness of the Parchim design.

Anti-submarine warfareEdit

A major evolution over the old HAI III design was the new hydro-acoustic system. The sonar suite consisted of a bow sonar and a variable depth dipping sonar. The sonar screen was panoramic, meaning that it gave a two dimensional radarscope-like view of the surrounding waters. This was a major improvement over the old auditive system in the HAI III class. Another weakness of the old HAI III was its inability to 'see through' water layers with different temperatures. While sound propagates pretty well in water of the same temperature, it gets easily disturbed by even modest differences in water temperature. Especially in the hot summer months these natural occurring phenomena give submarines an easy hide out for probable sub-chasing surface vessels. A solution is the use of a 'dipping sonar', which in a way is nothing more than a small sonar attached to a long cable. By using this device the Parchim's sonar system was able to search the different water layers.

The Parchims were also provided with capable anti-submarine warfare weapons. The 400 mm (16 in) torpedo tubes were loaded with acoustical and/or wire guided torpedoes. This gave the Parchims a precision submarine strike capability. The two RBU-6000 depth charge rocket launchers created a barrier defense against submarines, incoming torpedoes and frogmen. Though relatively unsophisticated by western standards, the RBU-6000 was a very successful and popular system, used on many small or large surface ships. It consisted of a twelve launch tubes for unguided rockets, armed with a compact but powerful depth charge. Rockets were directed by simply changing the angle of the tubes and thereby the ballistics of the unguided rockets. The launcher could elevate between -15° and +60°, and could traverse 180°, with each launcher thus covering one side of the ship. Range was between 350 m and 6000 m, and the charges could reach 500 m deep. The rockets, RGB-60's, weighed 110 kg (240 lb) of which 25 kg (55 lb) was a high-explosive warhead. The ammunition was swiftly and automatically reloaded from a magazine below deck, by turning the tubes 90° vertically. Maximum magazine capacity was 96 rounds. The whole system was remotely directed by the 'Burya' fire control system. The RBU-6000 could also be used for shore bombardment. The Parchims were also able to simply drop bigger and more powerful depth charges, and could transport and lay up to 60 mines.


All in all, the Parchims were up to their task, namely to hunt and destroy enemy submarines in coastal waters. Because of their lack of any real anti-shipping weapons and more importantly because of the absence of a modern air defence capability, their 'blue water' (out of the coastal regions) value would indeed have been slight. This shortcoming was partially offset by Volksmarine doctrine, which regarded the Koni-class frigates, equipped with the radar guided OSA/SA-N-4 SAMs, as the cornerstone of their naval blue water air defence. In other words, in order to survive a modern naval war, they had to be escorted by radar guided SAM carriers. But, as the biggest GDR warship building project in history, the Parchim class truly was the "Höhepunkt des DDR-Kampfschiffbaus"[clarification needed].


  Indonesian Navy

  • Currently 14 from 16 Parchims in service with Indonesian navy. The 16 Parchims from the GDR were purchased by Indonesia in 1992 in a deal worth US$12.7 million arranged by then Minister of Research and Technology, Dr B.J. Habibie. The transfer from the Volksmarine also included, 14 Frosch-class landing ships and 9 Kondor-class minesweepers.
  • Indonesian Parchims has completed a major refit to fulfill Indonesian navy needs.[1] The one twin 57 mm gun AK-725 and one twin 30 mm gun AK-230 were retained except for the ship 376 where the 30mm AK-230 replaced by Chinese made Type 730 CIWS.[citation needed] The RBU-6000 also retained as a major armament. Two SA-N-5 SAM removed and replaced by two Vektor G12 20mm gun.[2][3] Four 400mm Russian made torpedo launcher was out of service because there is no Russian made torpedo in Indonesian navy inventory so this Russian made torpedo launcher replaced by two western made triple torpedo launcher but only for two ships.
  • The Parchims, now known as the Kapitan Patimura class underwent a significant rehabilitation which included air-conditioning and engine replacements.[citation needed]
  • The ships were KRI Kapitan Patimura (371), KRI Untung Suropati (372), KRI Nuku (373), KRI Lambung Mangkurat (374), KRI Cut Nyak Din (375), KRI Sultan Thala Syafuddin (376), KRI Sutanto (377), KRI Sutedi Senoputra (378), KRI Wiratno (379), KRI Memet Sastrawiria (380)[retired], KRI Tjiptadi (381), KRI Hasan Basri (382), KRI Imam Bonjol (383), KRI Pati Unus (384)[retired], KRI Teuku Umar (385), and KRI Silas Papare (386).[4]
Engine Power Ships
2 x Deutz TBD 620 V16 diesels 6,000 hp (4.5 MW) 372, 373, 374, 377, 378, 381
2 x MTU 16V 4000 M 90 diesels 7,300 hp (5.4 MW) 371, 379, 380, 382, 383,386
2 x Caterpillar 3516B diesels 5,200 hp (3.9 MW) 375, 376, 384, 385


  Russian Navy

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status Notes
Urengoy 25 February 1985 29 August 1985 19 December 1986 Active
Kazanets 4 January 1985 28 December 1985 28 April 1986 Active[5] Damaged in 2020[5]
MPK-67 28 March 1985 19 April 1986 30 June 1987 Decommissioned in 2005
Zelenodolsk 25 June 1985 12 August 1986 28 December 1987 Active
MPK-105 30 December 1985 20 November 1986 16 March 1988 Decommissioned in 2014
MPK-213 8 April 1986 28 February 1987 29 July 1988 Decommissioned in 2004
MPK-216 22 June 1986 25 June 1987 30 September 1988 Decommissioned in 2005
MPK-219 7 November 1986 30 September 1987 23 December 1988 Decommissioned in 2002
Aleksin 28 February 1987 30 March 1988 31 March 1989 Active
Kabardino-Balkariya 9 February 1987 16 August 1988 29 June 1989 Active
Bashkortostan 20 November 1987 31 October 1988 26 September 1989 Decommissioned in 2010
Kalmykia 23 February 1988 31 January 1989 6 April 1990 Active

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2018-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2018-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships, 1999-2000, p.322
  5. ^ a b Damaged in collision with Swiss reefer in Oresund Strait, September 2020.


  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995

External linksEdit