|USSR||Heavy Tank||Tier VII|
Initially designed as a replacement for the KV-1. The hull and suspension had been developed at the outbreak of World War II, but the KV-3 was never mass-produced.
The KV-3 is defined by its lengthened and more heavily armored KV chassis, and a much rounder turret design. It can use a large variety of guns, but it's best known for the 122mm D-25t cannon, a weapon it shares with the IS. It sports an impressive 120mm of frontal hull armor, its turret is relatively well armored too, and the conical design makes bouncing frequent. When upgraded, it can mount the V-2SN engine, which gives a huge boost of horsepower, making it close to as mobile as the IS. It does however lack penetration compared to the German, French and US heavy tanks of its tier.
The KV-3 leads to the KV-4.
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
Pros and Cons
- Good max speed for its size (V-2SN engine)
- Almost impenetrable for lower tiers if properly angled
- Nice HP
- High alpha damage (122's)
- Tough frontal armor (120 mm
- The tank's design makes ricochets frequently
- Slow without the best engine
- Long silhouette
- Generally low accuracy of guns
- Low penetration for its tier
- Not as mobile as the IS
The KV-3 has a wide array of weapons to choose from. Once the upgraded turret is mounted, players can choose from 3 different weapons. 107 mm ZiS-6 is the first one in the line and is probably already researched as it was available in the T-150. ZiS-6 handles like it did in T-150, still being able to dish out immense amount of damage in a short time, while being reasonably accurate. After that, there is still the 100 mm D10T and 122 mm D-25T. D10T is rather similar to ZiS-6, but it sacrifices raw damage for better handling characteristics. This makes D10T the most accurate out of the three, while having a reasonably fast rate of fire and penetration which is on par with D-25T. However, it's damage is lowest of the three. The final choice, D-25T is the damage dealer of the trio. It deals significant alpha damage, and has good penetration. However, the gun handles sluggishly due to its size, is the slowest and most inaccurate of the bunch, and its shells are very expensive. If you miss or bounce your shot, it's painful. Being sluggish and unwieldy at first, after mounting the best engine this tank gains mobility and agility on par with the IS.
Lacking penetration for all its guns, the KV-3 is most effective up close where other tanks have trouble aiming down on the nearly unsloped frontal hull armor, though the large gun mantlet will now and then be penetrated by lower tier medium tanks at point blank range. In general, the KV-3 is more suitable for flanking and taking shots on distracted opponents than the IS. KEEP away from the frontside of Tier VIII and IX opponents, shots on their sides at short range will likely penetrate, but you won't last long in fights against those who have the time to deal with you. Shoot, pull back in cover and reload, if the enemy team holds ground containing positions from where they can hit you if you roll out to fire again, and tanks to do it, you'll be playing with luck, two shots if you feel lucky, then reposition. Frontal shots on enemy topdogs above Tier VII will likely bounce.
- The 10RK radio, the 107 mm ZiS-6, and the 85 mm S-31 carry over from the T-150. The V-2IS engine carries over from the KV-1S if you played that tank prior to this one.
- Research the suspension first since it's not very expensive, you need the mobility, and you need more weight capacity to mount the upgraded turret.
- Next research the V-2IS engine if you didn't already have it unlocked.
- Now you can either unlock the second turret and then the 122mm cannons, or you can get the V-2SN engine first.
- Go from here.
Development and preliminary design
In 1940, the KV-1 and KV-2 tanks were the heavy tanks of the USSR army. Even before the war started, the Soviet military recognized the need for more armor. The KV was only just in mass production, but an order was made for an improved version of it on June 17th, 1940. The tank factory in Kirov was to make 4 prototypes by the end of the year: 2 versions with 90 mm and 2 versions with 100 mm armor. Of the two types, one should be armed with an 85 mm gun, the other with a 76 mm gun.
The factory only managed to complete two of this prototypes: the 90 mm armored design with a 76 mm gun, basically an up-armored KV-1 tank, and a 100 mm armored design with the 85 mm gun. They were respectively called T-150 (or Object 150) and T-220 (or Object 220). Apart from extra armor, the T-150 only differed on some details from the KV-1 (an improved cupola and a new 700 hp engine are the most important changes). The inside of the tank didn't change, as the extra armor was mounted externally. During testing, the T-150 suffered from overheating in higher gears, even though outside temperatures were well below zero degrees centigrade.
The T-220 was a more radical innovation. The hull was lengthened, a wheel was added and a new gun, the 85 mm F-30 main gun, was mounted. The gun was already successfully tested on the T-28 that fall. Testing of the T-220 started at the end of January 1941, but after one day the 700 hp V-5 engine could not cope with the weight of 62 tons and failed.
Despite these problems, orders were received to mass-produce the T-150, under the name KV-3, in March, as the current tanks of the Soviet army were becoming more and more obsolete. However, the factory and the designers chose to concentrate on developing the T-220 instead, now under the name KV-220. The tank was tested extensively and received a new 850 hp diesel engine with supercharger. However, not only the engine was suffering from the weight of 70 tons. Suspension and torsion bars bent and twisted, and the transmission had problems as well. Still, the tank was able to complete nearly 2,000 km of testing before the start of Operation Barbarossa.
The factory started preparation for mass production again, but was stopped by the Soviet military. Intelligence showed that the Germans were also designing a heavy tank, so the Soviet design would become even more important. If it failed, the Soviet army would not have an adequate counter to the German threat. This meant the design of the KV-3 was again subject to modification of both hull and turret, and a new gun, the 107 mm ZiS-6, was to be mounted on the tank.
Moreover, new, heavier tanks were demanded, most notably the KV-4 heavy tank. With a design weight of 90 tons, this tank was too heavy to go in production, especially taking into account the problems with the transmission that were plaguing the much lighter KV tank. A KV-5 tank, with a hull height of 9 meters, was also ordered, but never got beyond the drawing board. Possibly the most feasible design proposal was the KV-9 heavy assault tank. With a weight of 48 tons, a 122 mm howitzer, and front armor of 135 mm, this was a much more realistic design. Two prototypes of the tank were completed, but the tank never went into mass production. Finally, a turretless prototype, the KV-7, was sent to Moscow for review. The tank mounted multiple guns, and was rejected by Stalin for this reason.
The fate of the prototypes
With the war underway, the KV factories that were experimenting with prototypes focused on mass production of the KV, the only Soviet tank that was truly feared by Germany at the time. The unfinished prototypes were ripped of their experimental turrets and guns and were sent to the front with KV-1 turrets. The T-220 (KV-3) model served under the 124th tank battalion and was destroyed near the Ust-Tosno railway bridge in December 1941. The T-150 was sent to the 123th tank battalion, but its fate is unknown.
Further development of the KV series was halted, but the experience of the testing was used to design the successful IS tank.
ConclusionThe KV was a heavy, slow-moving tank, but the Soviet army wanted something even stronger. That meant all parts had to be more durable and able to cope with more weight. During testing, it showed that the designers did not succeed in developing a reliable, versatile heavy tank based on the KV-tank. Ultimately the projects were stopped and the focus of the Soviet tank designers shifted to developing a tank with reasonable weight, good mobility, and sufficient armor. The IS tank was the logical result of their quest.