"Object 279" the name of a Soviet tank, the result of a secret program, which could even withstand the shock wave of a nuclear explosion. It was a strategic strike and fragmentation tank that would pose a maximum threat to the West…
Design began in 1957 at the Kirov plant in what was then Leningrad by a team led by chief engineer Leonid Troyanov. A pre-production tank was ready in 1959. It differed significantly from all other tanks in the world. First of all it had four crawlers, two on the outside of the boat – like all tanks – and two on the inside in the "belly" of the boat.
It had hydropneumatic suspension and a three-speed transmission. It had a weight of 60 tons, but still the ground pressure was in the order of 0.6 kg/cm2. The combination of four tracks provided great mobility in rough terrain, swampy terrain or in an area with typical anti-tank obstacles.
It had a 1,000 HP diesel engine that gave it a maximum speed of 55 hp. It had a range of 300 km. It had an automatic fire system and a formidable 130 mm M65 gun. 60 calibers that achieved a very high exit velocity from the barrel and therefore a long range and piercing capacity. It also had a coupled 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun. and smoke generators. But he only had a stock of 24 shells for the cannon. The cannon could fire 5-7 rounds per minute.
The chariot was extremely heavily armored. The maximum armor on the boat reached 269 mm. while in the tower and the shield it reached 319 mm. But the tank had one more distinctive feature, an "apron" that covered it around the perimeter, almost, and functioned not only as a defense against armor-piercing and hollow-charge projectiles, but also did not allow the tank to overturn even from the shock wave of a nuclear explosion .
The armor was sloped, while the tank had a nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical warfare (NBR) protection system. The crew was four (crew chief, driver, gunner and loader). Aiming was done with an optical rangefinder, but the tank also had a night sighting system with an infrared projector.
Three tanks of the type named Kotin were built, but in 1960 by the decision of the then Soviet leader Khrushchev, the program was stopped. He forbade the manufacture of tanks heavier than 37 tons. However, the main reason for ending the program was the cost of building and maintaining such a tank. The tank was 6.77 m long - without the cannon - 6.77 m wide, 3.4 m wide and only 2.63 m high. One tank was saved, however, and today it is on display in the Russian military tank museum in Kubinka.
PANTELIS D. KARYKAS