5 terrible Soviet Union super weapons programs

The Soviet military combined great vision and global aspirations with an industrial-defense utopia and utopian design ideas. It was this that caused the Soviet Union to waste a lot of resources and resources.

For nearly seven decades of its existence, the Soviet defense-industrial complex has surprised the West with cheap, dangerous and effective weapons systems. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited and actively developed super weapons to assert its power.

The first was the Sovetsky class battleship Soyuz, by the late 1930s the Soviet economy had recovered to the point that a large-scale naval program could be considered, including battlecruisers and battlecruisers aircraft carriers, including the Sovetsky Soyuz-class battleships.

Project 23 (AKA SOVETSKY SOYUZ-CLASS) | Tinkercad

Based on the Italian Littorio class, the Sovetsky Soyuz displace about 60,000 tons, are armed with nine 40mm cannons and have a speed of 28 knots. This gives these warships a size that rivals the most powerful battleships in the world.

The Soviet Union ordered four ships between 1938 and 1940 out of a planned total of sixteen battleships. However, one was canceled in 1940 because of poor workmanship. The remaining three ships were suspended at the outbreak of World War II and after the war these ships were scrapped as they were no longer in compliance with the requirements.

The second was the Ulyanovsk-class aircraft carrier, the Soviet Union began research on the construction of an aircraft carrier shortly after the October Revolution, but as with battleships, due to the chaotic economy, backward industrial status of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union and the Second World War broke the plan.

After the war, with ambitious efforts under Stalin, the Soviet authorities undertook more modest, sequential efforts to build aircraft carriers. The Moscow-class helicopter carriers entered service in the mid-1960s, followed by the Kiev-class carriers in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Soviet Navy expected the Ulyanovsk class to succeed the Kuznetsov, with a tonnage of more than 80,000 tons and powered by nuclear power. Ulyanovsk was the Soviet Union’s first real competitor to the American super-carriers. The carrier had enough catapult capacity to launch attack aircraft and early warning aircraft, making it more or less on par with American carriers of the time.

However, as with so many Soviet weapons systems, the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union made Ulyanovsk impossible to complete. Although the Soviet aircraft carrier program failed, it also helped create a force of control ships at sea and a contingent of naval pilots.

The third is the heavy bomber, although the Soviet Air Force was never famous for strategic bombing during the Second World War, during the war the Soviet Union experimented a lot with long-range bombing aircraft.

Early in the war, the Soviet Union used the Pe-8, a bomber roughly equivalent to the American Avro Lancaster and Boeing B-17. The Pe-8 never achieved the same level of success as the two American planes, largely due to design problems.

In addition, the Soviet Union also tested some truly epic projects, including the K-7 heavy bomber, the TB-3, ANT-20, TB-6 series of aircraft. In particular, the ANT-20 aircraft has 8 engines and can carry 72 passengers, the ANT-26 is a variant of the ANT-20, with 12 engines and is significantly larger than the US B-29.


However, these monster planes only appeared in prototype form, because the Soviet Union at that time was concentrating resources on ground forces against the Germans. In addition, the giant ANT-26s will also become easy targets for German interceptors.

Unlike the Western Allies, the Soviet Union did not want to waste resources on a lengthy and costly strategic bombing campaign; they needed to defeat the German army on the battlefield. Had the Soviets taken the strategic bombing route, they might not have been able to resist the German advance.

Fourth is the super-heavy tank Tu-42, Soviet engineers planned to build a “super-heavy” tank, a vehicle that weighs 3 or 4 times more than a standard battle tank. The most impressive of the designs presented to the Soviet General Staff was the T-42, a 100-ton monster with three turrets and a crew of 14-15.

The T-42 was never tested, but was seriously considered by the Soviet military. Other projects were more realistic such as the T-35, T-100, SMK, KV-4 and KV-5, but only the T-35, a 45-ton tank with five turrets entered production. And all 61 T-35s were lost during the opening phase of Operation Barbarossa, often to mechanical failure.


Like most super-heavy tanks, the T-42 was too heavy, too expensive, and too slow to be produced. However, if the Red Army was determined to create this machine, the T-42 would likely pervert Soviet armor doctrine and prove tactically useless.

Finally, there is the T-4, which is a direct copy of the American B-29s captured by the Soviet Union. The T-4 was the Soviet Union’s answer to the American B-70 Valkyrie. The T-4 is a very large, extremely fast bomber capable of flying at high altitudes, the aircraft tested and in many ways exceeded the limits of the Soviet defense industry.

The T-4 can reach speeds of Mach 3, with a ceiling of about 24 km, the T-4 resembles the B-70 in terms of shape and capabilities. However, because the organization of air forces in the Soviet Union was different from that of the United States, the T-4 was also considered for tactical missions, such as reconnaissance and anti-ship missile delivery. The idea of ​​a T-4 carrying the Kh-22 anti-ship missile is really scary.

Sukhoi T-4
Sukhoi T-4

However, the technological level of the Soviet Union at that time could not meet many technical requirements of the aircraft. Furthermore, the T-4 also suffered from many interception problems and only 35 T-4s were later built.

If the Soviet Union pursued the T-4, it would have to give up much of its tactical air fleet. However, the Soviet Union would also have a supersonic bomber with anti-ship missiles, which would make the defense of US carrier battle groups more complicated than the arrival of the Tu-22M, a smaller, shorter long-range bombers.

The production of the T-4 could also lead to changes in US defense procurement, with the possibility of a greater focus on the B-1A and strategic interceptors. Although extremely expensive to maintain, there are still a few T-4s that survived the fall of the Soviet Union to serve in the Russian Air Force.

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