Object 279: why the Soviet Union created the

Weapons 29/01/20 pinterest.GObject 279: why the Soviet Union created a “tank Apocalypse”

the Advent of the nuclear age and the risk of outbreak of war involving weapons of mass destruction stood in front of the tank designers new challenges. It was necessary to create a machine that no problems are willing to complete the task in the conditions of use of nuclear weapons. A tank should have high security and high traffic. In 1959, Soviet designers presented Object 279, nicknamed “tank Apocalypse.”

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After the Second world war the Soviet Union had the most powerful land army in the world. The main striking force of the Soviet Union in Europe was a group of forces in East Germany, numbering up to half a million officers and soldiers and thousands of tanks of the most modern models.

In the case of escalating the Cold war into open armed conflict, the Soviet army and its allies had a powerful and swift blow armored units break through the defense of NATO, to enter the operating room and, after some time, to reach the Atlantic ocean.

the Soviet strategists believed that nuclear weapons are important but not decisive factor in the war. Emphasis is on classical reception — the seizure of enemy territory.

However, the usual tanks for the war in conditions of nuclear Apocalypse did not come. Needed a special machine which, first, was to protect the crew from radiation, and second, to be able to easily overcome any obstacles on the dotted pits and craters from shells location and third, weighing not more than 60 tons, and all this to possess powerful weapons.

Tank Apocalypse

the Development was entrusted to design Bureau of the Kirov factory. The prototype was named “Object 279” and was presented in 1959.

One of the “highlights” of the tank — was it an unusual appearance. Slightly flattened body with something reminiscent of a flying saucer. This design was to prevent the overturning of the car by the shock wave from a nuclear explosion. The body of the tank was placed on the original chassis with four tracks two on each side.

the Engineers were able to place in a tank crew of four. Commander, gunner and loader were located in the tower, and the mechanic sat in the front of the case.

to Worry for their lives the crew should not have: “Object 279” was the most protected tank of its time. In some areas the thickness of armor was 319 mm (nearly 32 inches). The car could withstand a hit by armor-piercing 122-millimeter projectile. According to experts, 279 was protected five times better than T-34 tank. With all this, the designers were able to keep within the stated weight of 60 tons.

Tanks are not afraid of dirt

Another “trick” of the “Object 279” was chetyrehchastnaya suspension. It was assumed that tanks of this model will be at the point of attack, but because they were easily overcome craters from explosions, loosened soil, debris, mud and other obstacles, besides with a very decent speed up to 55 kilometers per hour.

Four tracks gave the machine a huge advantage in patency compared with two track tanks. The design of the chassis of the “Object 279” had excluded him landing on the “belly” while passing vertical obstacles.

NATO Allies the possibility of the destruction of water reservoirs and river channels to stop the offensive of the Soviet troops. “Object 279” was adapted to overcome the flooded water sections with a maximum fording depth of up to 1.2 meters.

Weapon break

With the gun in “tank Apocalypse” and all was OK: 130 mm barrel with a rate of fire up to five rounds per minute is a decent rate even for modern machines. The services of the crew were advanced in those years, the system is a complex set of night vision optical farOmer infrared illuminator. Complements this splendor 14.5 mm machine gun in the tower.

since the tank had to operate on the infected area, it is equipped with the system of radiation protection. Inside was created excessive pressure which excluded the penetration in tank radioactive particles.

Museum piece

Despite the ambitiousness of the project, shortly after the beginning of the test, it became clear that to go to mass production, he has no chance. Suspension was one of the main advantages of the tank, and its main drawback. Complexity to operate and repair, especially in the thaw, and the turning resistance is 12 times greater than in the tanks with two tracks — these drawbacks become fatal for “Object 279”.

a Final end to the project “tank Apocalypse” delivered by Nikita Khrushchev in July 1960. The head of state in his usual forcible manner is strictly forbidden to produce tanks weighing over 37 tons — that’s how much weighed the T-62, mass production began next year.

top of the line “279-y” was forced to settle for Armored Museum in Kubinka. The only copy of this unusual tank is kept there still.

Ivan Proshkin

© Russian Seven

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