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The post-war history of the Kharkiv Tank Design Bureau virtually started in 1951 when Aleksandr A. Morozov returned to Kharkiv and was appointed the Chief Designer of the KB-60M Design Bureau.

In the post-war period the tank production industry of the country manufactured for the Soviet army mostly the T-54 tank, created as early as 1947, or its versions T-54A and T-54B. The army required a radically new tank that would considerably exceed both Soviet and foreign tanks as to its characteristics.

A New Development Department was formed in the KB-60M Design Bureau to work on a new tank. This department was headed by Ya.I. Baran, who had returned from Nizhnyi Tagil by that time. He also became the Deputy Chief Designer.

Concept studies for a layout and design of the new tank were completed in 1953. The pre-draft design of the tank that differed by a number of new technical solutions was approved by high-ranking officials. A directive document was issued for organising the work on the new tank - Decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 598-265 of April 2, 1954.

The draft design of the new tank, which had the development designation of the Obiekt 430, had been completed by the end of 1954. Its main specific feature was the scheme and layout of the power pack compartment - transverse position of a specially designed for this tank two-stroke turbo-piston engine 4TPD (designed by the Diesel Design Bureau of Plant No.75) with two planetary side transmissions located at both sides of the engine. Such layout made it possible to reduce the power pack compartment volume almost by twice in comparison with that of the T-54 tank.

This was explained by eliminating from the power pack compartment traditional component parts: central gearbox, change-gear train, main clutch, two intermediate transmission mechanisms, etc. Besides, the tank used an ejection-type cooling system and a light-weight running gear with metal hollow wheels of smaller diameter and rubberised tracks.

At the same time the Design Bureau worked out on its own initiative a draft design for an enhanced tank called the Obiekt 430U and based on the new medium tank designated the Obiekt 430 which mounted a 122 mm gun and had a considerably enhanced armour protection (front armour was 160 mm thick instead of 120 mm at the Obiekt 430). Essentially, it had the characteristics of a heavy tank. By some parameters (allowance of ammunition, power-to-weight ratio, ground pressure, etc.) the Obiekt 430U, having the internal space of the hull and turret of a medium tank, exceeded the characteristics of the existing at that time IS-3 and IS-4 heavy tanks and experimental T-10 heavy tank. The '430U' tank weighed 42 tonnes, while the heavy tanks weighed about 50 tonnes (e.g., the IS-4 weighed 60 tonnes).

Work on the project showed clearly that the medium tank layout and design have reserves which enabled heavy tank capabilities to be achieved in a simpler way.

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