This will be the suggestion post for the Soviet Object 277 heavy tank, one of three designs created for a 1956 specification by GBTU for a tank to replace the T-10. More on this in a bit. This and its rival projects were some of the very last heavy tanks ever created, and because of this, the Object 277 could be an excellent addition to the USSR’s heavy tanks in War Thunder. If you see any information that is not correct, or you want to discuss the Object 277, add sources, pictures, anything related, leave a comment. Now to talk about its history, let’s head back in time.
Following the end of World War II, the Soviet Union had gained a lot of experience with heavy tanks and their use. In development at the end of World War II were the IS-4 and IS-7, built to withstand even the most powerful of German guns. To outside observers, this new generation of Soviet heavy tanks was enough to elicit a response from the Western Allies. All was not as it seemed, however. While heavy tanks were a powerful psychological weapon and force on the battlefield, they weren’t always so practical. During the push towards Berlin, IS-2s were often outpaced by the more mobile T-34, and being much heavier, the IS tanks had their share of mechanical issues. This didn’t stop the Soviets though, as the heavy tank was still an important part of the Red Army doctrine at the time. The T-10 entered service in 1953 and even then, the heavy tank was slowly beginning to become a thing of the past.
The T-10A during a parade at Red Square.
Although the heavy tank was beginning to see its day, around 1956, GBTU, the Soviet General Armor Directorate, issued an order for a new heavy tank to replace the T-10. A competition began between three teams, two at Kirov, and one at Chelyabinsk. Leningrad’s Kirov plant was to create what was designated the Object 279, as well as continue work on another design now designated the Object 277. The designer of both would be the famous J.Ya. Kotin, who had a major role in designing some of the KV tanks, the IS family, the T-10, the SU-152, and a number of other equipment and machinery.
Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin, designer of the Object 277 and Object 279.
The design of the Object 277’s hull was similar to the T-10, using a cast frontal part with angled side plates. New to the turret was an optical rangefinder, and towards the rear of the turret, ammunition was stacked. The crew would still consist of 4, but certainly one of the largest improvements from the T-10 was the gun. The 130 mm M-65 was designed in the spring of 1956 by M.Yu. Tsirulnikova at plant design bureau No. 172. This gun was used in all three of Chelyabinsk and Kirov’s designs, and was both very new and powerful for its time. It was equipped with a two-plane stabilizer, a TDP-2C rangefinder sight, and a TPN-1 night sight. In the turret of the Object 277, loading was assisted by an electro mechanical rammer. While a satisfactory gun, some experts worried that the gun was too long and would collide with the ground, making the gun inoperable, and the tank unable to engage targets.
Two variations of this tank had been planned in 1955; one was the Object 277 with a diesel engine, while the ultimately unbuilt Object 278 used a gas turbine engine. In the end, the one that would be used for GBTU’s specification would be the 277. The 1,090 hp M-850 diesel engine was used for this variant, which was derived from the M-50 engine used in torpedo engines, which was in turn derived from the AN-1 aircraft engine, which would then be modified by a section of Zvezda Plant in Leningrad for the Object 277 project. This was mounted on the axis of the tank, with the cooling system’s ejectors mounted on the sides, with the oil and fuel located under these. The fuel internally had 820 liters and externally had 250 liters. This combined with the engine gave the tank a range of 300 km, as well as a top speed of 55 km/h. The engine and transmission were mounted as a single unit, with an 8-speed planetary transmission and ‘ZK’- type steering mechanism taken from the T-10. The final drives were provided with hydraulically assisted disc brakes, and an MTO automatic fire suppression system was installed, as was a TDA-type fuel injection smoke laying system.
For armor, James Kinnear and Stephen Sewell’s book Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants (source below) reads the following.
The glacis armour of the Objekt 277 provided protection against 122mm rounds and 90mm cumulative rounds, although testing was not completed before the project was cancelled. Unlike the rolled homogenous armour plate glacis of the T-10 series, the Obiekt 277 used cast glacis armour. It had a maximum glacis armour basis of 140mm, set at 60-70° from vertical, with the lower glacis with the lower glacis correspondingly 153mm at 50–55° from vertical. The turret had maximum frontal armour of 290mm, with a minimum of 139mm, set at 30–60° from vertical, with maximum turret side armour of 236mm and a minimum of 138mm set at 30–55° from vertical. All in all, the Obiekt-277 was a remarkably strongly armoured tank, but that armour came at a cost relative to prescribed limits on overall heavy tank combat weight.
In 1958 and then 1959, two prototypes of the Object 277 were completely built. The first prototype was tested from January 7th, 1959 to February 26th, 1960. In addition to these two prototypes, a hull and turret were built for firing trials to test its armor. The trials revealed the issue with the long gun of the vehicle. The vehicle was 5 tons over the weight specification, the ammunition load was thought to be too small, as well as a few other problems. However, whatever hope the designers had for the vehicle was diminished soon.
Nikita Khrushchev was somewhat notable in Soviet tank history for not being a fan of heavy tanks or tanks in general, and favored the anti-tank guided missile. On July 19th, 1960, the project was officially scrapped. It was a long time coming, between the changing views of the Soviet Army and the work needed for the tank to be produced, the Object 277 looked less necessary. Nikita Khrushchev would reaffirm the decision at a meeting in Moscow the same year, that he wanted to complete the T-10M’s production run and stop all development of heavy tank designs. This effectively ended the T-10 replacement program that had gone on for a few years, and at the same time, ended the era of the heavy tank. Despite this, today, Object 277, Object 279, and Object 770 remain at the Kubinka Tank Museum as some of the last heavy tanks ever created.
The Object 277 heavy tank, one of the last of its kind, at the Kubinka Tank Museum.
- Year produced: 1958
- Number produced: 2 prototypes
- Weight: 55 tons
- Crew: 4
- Length: 11.78 m (gun forward)
- Width: 3.38 m
- Height: 2.292 m
- Clearance: 0.435 m
- Main armament: 130 mm M-65 rifled gun
- Ammunition stowed: 37 (18 in first stage ammunition stowage)
- Rate of fire: 5-7 rpm
- Stabilizer: Dual-axis
- Night vision device: TPN-1
- Rangefinder: Stereoscopic TDP-2S rangefinder scope sight
- Secondary armament: 14.5 mm KPVT machine gun (800 rounds)
- Engine: M-850 12-cylinder diesel engine, 1,090 hp @ 1,850 RPM
- Maximum speed on road: 55 km/h
- Maximum range: 300 km
- Ground pressure (kg / cm2): 0.73
- Track width: 720 mm
- Kinnear, James. Sewell, Stephen L. Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2017., pp. 138-139.
- Танк «Объект 277»
- Object 277 - RecoMonkey (Pictures)