Object 279 – tank that could withstand Soviet nuclear bombs

Object 279 - tank that could withstand Soviet nuclear bombs 0
Object 279 - tank that could withstand Soviet nuclear bombs 0

A Soviet Object 279 tank.

During the peak of the Cold War, to deal with a nuclear attack that could occur at any time, Soviet military engineers developed a tank model called Object 279 that could withstand

This tank can be seen as a symbol of the risk of a nuclear war that never happened and was the last super heavy tank model of the Soviet Union, after leader Nikita Khrushchev banned its production.

Object 279 was manufactured by the Kirov military factory in 1957 at the request of the Soviet army to replace the T-10 tank, which had low combat power and defense against enemy anti-tank weapons.

The original purpose of Object 279 was to undertake the task of defending against any intrusion attacks and fighting in areas that are difficult to navigate.

Object 279 has a range of about 300 km with a maximum travel speed of 55 km/h and a crew of 4 including commander, driver, gunner and loader.

In terms of design, the body of Object 279 is assembled from 4 different casting parts and is covered with a layer of armor made of synthetic steel material with the front part being up to 192 mm thick and the sides being 182 mm, and the armor layer in front of the turret.

With such thick armor, Soviet military experts assessed that Object 279 could withstand all types of rocket and missile bullets at that time, and was completely capable of surviving a bomb attack.

Object 279 - tank that could withstand Soviet nuclear bombs

The Object is on display at the weapons museum.

Object 279 is designed to minimize the impact of shock waves from nuclear bombs.

But the most special design of Object 279 is the chassis consisting of 4 chains of crawlers mounted on two longitudinal hollow beams.

This feature helps the Object 279 significantly reduce pressure on the ground (average pressure is only about 0.6 kg/cm2) helping it run well on thick snow and even swamps like a light tank.

The Object 279’s engine is divided into 2 versions: 950 horsepower DG-1000 diesel engine with a rotation speed of 2,500 rpm, 1,000 horsepower 2DG-8M engine with a rotation speed of 2,400 rpm

Object 279 is equipped with a 130 mm M-65 main gun and a 14.5 mm heavy machine gun, with a combat fire rate of 5-7 rounds/minute.

The disadvantage of the Object 279 is that it weighs quite heavily (70 tons, about 10 tons more than the T-10 tank), so its mobility in combat is significantly limited.

Therefore, only two prototypes of the Object 279 tank were built by the Soviet army in 1959. Then, with the decline of bulky, less mobile super heavy tanks, the Object 279 was discontinued.

See also: Sturmtiger, the Nazi German ‘pray for me in this bush’ cannon.

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