The heavy tank IS-4 — the last of the kind of "Stalin."
For a long time before majestically Russian war, several groups were developing a promising KB languid tank "for the war ends with the step and the next time." Among them was the Kirov and design of the plant, which began with the design of December 1943. The main task was seen a dramatic increase in protection of the tank, namely the resistance against the new long-barreled 88mm anti-tank guns (one of which with a self-propelled, "Ferdinant" Reddish Army has already made available during the Battle of Kursk). In addition to thickening of the frontal armor plate was seriously reworked the entire structure of the nose, compared with the previous tanks "IP", the increased weight of the tank claimed more massive engine, which led to a lengthening of the body and add to the chassis of the seventh track roller on board. The case was about welding rolled armor plates, while the tower was one hundred percent of the cast, except for the roof — held by the large plate was bolted hatches to remove the gun. In April 1944, GKO decree was given CHKZ order to create a 2-experienced samples "object 701" (the so-called new tank in the original documentation, curiously — order it entered earlier than on the IS-3, which had the code "703 "). First layout, labeled "701 number 0" in May of the same year he entered the factory tests, which lasted six weeks.
The result of the work to address the identified deficiencies was the release of the next 2-prototypes — "Object 701" № 1 and № 3, differing weaponry (100mm gun to be used with either 34-122mm D-25T). Followed by tests of samples to finish, which lasted more than a month, and the conclusion of the commission — the tank certainly not bad, but asks refinement. Plant were to produce the next two layout and re-submit them to the test. In August 1944, received the first details about a brand new German tank "Tiger-B" with an instrument similar to "Ferdinant" and work on new tanks have been accelerated. Including a great and experienced shooting on the case "Object 701" as the Russian and captured guns. The result was expected, and pleasantly amused testers — housing firmly defended the tank during the shelling of long-barreled 88mm guns with course angles + / -30 ° at all distances. The tower has shown a bit worse resistance — non-hazardous angles were for it + / -15 °, but this is acceptable because the tower often deployed to the enemy and gets hit in the forehead exchange rate at small angles. Layout number 4 goes to the tests in September, but again the work sites, and at first the box does not satisfy the Commission, and 2 months later, "Object 701» № 5 goes to the municipal tests conducted at the site Institute of BT in December and January. The tank is recommended to the adoption, and passes two additional tests from January 1945 to March, and from March to April. The Commission considers tank pass the tests and confirms the initial decision making on arms. Much less that the tests took place in April, "Object 701» № 6 in Chelyabinsk, in the Commission's own findings, it was noted that the reliability of the units is satisfactory, and their working out in serial production is sufficient for councils to take on armament. In a letter to the People's Commissar tank industry V.Malyshevu management CHKZ seeking approval program from serial production of the tank in the summer of 1945, bringing the rate of production up to 100 cars per month in August! But … At this time, had already been adopted and put into service in a series of "Object 703" under the title of IS-3, and funds for two languid tank is no more.
The story "seven hundred and first" and would have ended, much less that the war is won, and the center of mass of interest has shifted towards the restoration of the national economy, but the unexpected happened — first in 1946 tank IS-3 that made a splash at the Victory parade retired. The identified shortcomings in the operation and the poor form the bow of the war undermined the credibility of the machine, the program MCI (elimination of structural defects) cost almost as much as the tank itself, and to repair bases IS-3 went directly from industrial plants. The finish point in the fate of the EC-3 delivered test pounding the hull when the 100mm shell hit the weld passes in the center and fastened the top two head-piece. The result was devilish — the tank almost fell apart at the seams lopnuv. The weakened area was known before, but no one could not imagine that getting into it will cause such languid consequences. And now, the country is suddenly without production languid tanks! In the circumstances, having considered all the options, the Council of Ministers in April of the same year a decision on adoption of a "Object 701" with awarding the index IS-4. The issue was due to start by the end of the year, but required for this documentation was not ready. The design introduced further above 80 configurations, and the first two series of the JS-4 comes to ministerial tests only in April 1947. Conclusion of the commission is categorical — the tanks did not survive the test! Reliability did not satisfy the requirements of peace-time (it was impossible to close the eyes to the main nodes of the resource unit and the box in the 10's hours, as for example, in 1942, because all the same tank will die earlier than was exhausted), the complexity of management and maintenance sought special training of drivers, not to mention such "trifles" as the inability to use the radio on the move and the highest noise level (in calm weather fans howl was heard … 7-8 km!). Modified tanks are tested again in the summer, but get another list of 121 Fri shortcomings. Tank serious
ly processed, new solutions are processed on the initial batch of 25 machines, and 8 October 1947. approved the final drawings for the series production of the tank IS-4.
Issue was sluggish, and not looking at completion, the tank needs to end the army did not match. It got to the ban on the acceptance of tanks from the factory January 10, 1948 — followed the proceedings "at inflated tones" between the military and the Department of Vehicle Engineering, with the assistance of the Council of Ministers of the USSR (not the last in the life of the tank, as it turns out), the result of which was two orders: Continue acceptance and create a program from address the identified shortcomings, the modernization of all previously handed tanks. But in August there is the second conflict, just repeated the previous one, with similar findings. Acceptance is resumed only happens meticulously and methodically. The result of all the bickering and mutual recriminations was the decision by the first of January 1949 for the removal of the tank from production. In all there were 219 series of tanks IS-4 and 6 prototypes. Service tank was painfully similar to the earlier M103 and FV214 Conqueror — most of the cars was "exiled" to the Far East, where they were promptly taken out of service for long-term storage, and later retired. The only fully complete specimens, preserved to the present day are the IS-4 from the Museum of armored vehicles (Kubinka) and a monument to p.Zabaykale, Chita region.
Tank IS-4 has been designed according to the traditional assembly with rear engine compartment. In the control compartment housed a driver whose jobs are on the axis of the tank. Access is via a circular sliding flap, in which mounted vision devices (two periscopes MK-4 to open the flap had to be removed). The engine of the tank — 12-cylinder, V-type diesel V-12, which is the upcoming development of the B-2. Power boost to 750 hp manufactured by implementing the drive of the centrifugal supercharger incorporated besides many other design configuration. The enthusiasm of the tank causes a box, consisting of a single mechanism of gears and planetary rotation. The role of the checkpoint did row planetary gear with 3 friction elements and the reverse, it provided the tank 6 speeds forward and three reverse. Steering gear type 3K with multipliers was developed in 1935-36, but because of the difficulty was not mastered the industry at the time. On the one hand it ensures the stability of linear motion in all criteria, but turns significantly decreased velocity of the center of mass of the tank and the motor is overloaded. Chassis included a reference to 7 and 3 support rollers, torsion bar suspension. Housing tank welded from rolled armor tower cast. Armament includes a 122mm rifled gun D-25T gun with 30 rounds of separate loading, and two machine guns mnogokalibernyh DShKM — coaxial and anti-aircraft. It should be noted method of storing ammunition in the tank — all 30 rounds placed in the turret in various magazines, which were designed for a specific type of projectile. Had 12 cassettes for armor-piercing shells and 18 for high-explosive, for the convenience of hands-lock them painted in a reddish and yellowish in color, respectively. Sleeves with charges stored mostly in the housing. Ammunition guns consisted of 500 rounds — 250 in 5 boxes (two are already installed on the machine guns) and 250 in industrial packs. Gunner, as in other Russian tanks placed on the left of the gun, before the commander. In his possession was a telescopic "break" Sight TS-45 and the unit of observation periscope. For armor plate for removing guns were hatches tank commander and loader, they were equipped with monitoring devices periscopic (the commander — TPC-1, in the charging MK-4), a commander's cupola was missing, as well as monitoring devices prismatic radial angle.
The advantage of the tank was a powerful armor that protects against the main anti-tank guns since then, but to arm it was not superior to IP-2 and IP-3. Low reliability, the complexity in the management and operation, lacking mobility and permeability not have allowed this most languid of all standard Russian tanks occupy a worthy place in the army.
Short tactical and technical characteristics languid JS-4:
Crew — 4 people.
Weight in firing position — 60 tons.
Overall length — 9.79 meters.
Width — 3.26 meters.
Height — 2.48 meters.
The highest speed — 43 km / h
The stores range — 170km.
Ground pressure — 0.92 km/sm2.
122mm rifled gun D-25T (30 rounds of separate loading).
Paired and 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine guns DShKM (total 500 rounds ammunition).
Forehead body — 160mm top, 140mm bottom.
Board housing — 160mm.
The forehead of the tower — 250mm.
Board tower — 170mm.