Project 53-class, 1003

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Project 53-class, 1003


Soviet WWII minesweeper transferred to North Korea. Armed with a 100mm cannon and 3x 37mm autocannons, as well as mines and depth charges.

The Project 53-class, part of the Fugas-class (also incorrectly known as Tral-class), was a class of minesweepers constructed in the mid-1930s. They saw service throughout WWII, and most were scrapped/decommissioned by 1960.

Following the signing of the Korean Armistice in 1953, the DPRK sought to re-equip its navy (the Korean People’s Navy, KPN or KPANF) and replace its dated inventory. They had primarily been equipped with basic Soviet torpedo boats, as well as a variety of civilian boats converted to military use. Along with limited numbers of P-4 and P-6 torpedo boats, the Soviet Union also sent 2 Project 53-class ships – T-2 Tros and T-8 Cheka. These entered service with the KPN very shortly after, numbered 1008 and 1003 respectively.

The DPRK did later modify number 1008 (renamed to 671), and later built a new class of ships heavily based on them (Sariwŏn-class). This suggestion, however, focuses on the original Project 53-class T-8, ship number 1003.

The Project 53-class was armed with a 100mm B-24BM naval cannon – it has a rate of fire of 12 rpm, and mainly fired HE rounds. This is mounted at the bow of the ship, with no gunshield or casemate surrounding it. The Project 53 also has 3x 37mm 61-K anti-aircraft guns in a row towards the rear of the ship. These guns have a fire rate of 160 rpm, and can fire HE, AP and HVAP rounds.

The Project 53 in KPN service likely also retains the 2 depth charges and 30 mines present on the original ship.

The ship has an all steel hull, a length of 62m, and a displacement of 490-535 tons. There are 2 diesel engines, giving an output of 2800bhp. This allows the ship to reach a speed of 18 knots, or 33 km/h. The ship has a crew of 44.

The Project 53, while ‘copy-paste’ in this form (although it isn’t in game) serves as a key development in North Korea’s naval forces, and would be a fun early rank ship for a future North Korean coastal fleet sub-tree for China, or as part of a United Korean coastal fleet tree. I would give it a BR of roughly 2.3-2.7, as it has a powerful 100mm gun but rather lacklustre mobility.


  • General
    Displacement: 490-535t
    Engine: 2x 1400bhp
    Top Speed: 18 knots (33km/h)
    Crew: 44

  • Armament:
    Main Armament
    1x 100mm B-24BM

    AA Armament
    3x 37mm 61-K

    Other Armament
    2x depth charges
    30x mines




  • Unknown number Project 53 in North Korea, possibly from 1953

  • The 3 37mm cannons are easily visible here


  • 100mm B-24BM on ship 1003

  • Satellite image of a Project 53, highly likely to be 1003

  • 1008 (obviously)



The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun – Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

FUGAS minesweepers (projects 3, 53, 58, 53u) (1936 - 1946)

Russia / USSR 100 mm/51 (3.9") B-24 Pattern 1936 and 100 mm/56 (3.9") B-24BM Pattern 1939 - NavWeaps

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