The VL-1 was an experimental superheavy tank developed by the Soviet Union towards the end of WWII
About this creation
The VL-1 was a conceptual superheavy tank developed by the USSR in the later stages of WWII. It never left the drawing board and very little is known about it.
All references are from "Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles from 1945 to Present," byy Steven J. Zaloga and James W. Loop, published in 1987 by Arms and Armour Press, UK.
Chassis by Alex Sonny
In 1944, Soviet Intelligence had received wind of German attempts at 100-ton superheavy tanks such as the E-100 and Maus, and so the TsKB-2 team (the team that designed the IS series of heavy tanks) had been assigned to develop two counterparts to the E-100 and Maus. They were codenamed Shchuka (Pike) and Zverboi (beast killer).
The Shchuka was an enlarged IS-3 with increased armor, a rear mounted turret and a larger engine placed between the driver's compartment and the turret. The Zverboi was a heavily redesigned ISU-152 heavy assault gun. Few details are known about these projects other than their codenames and basic design.
Soviet military documents suggest that the proposed name for the Shchuka was "VL-1," for "Vladimir Lenin," the founder of the Soviet state. For counter-intelligence purposes, the IS-3 was also called the Shchuka to divert attention away from these superheavy tank projects. Neither the Shchuka or Zverboi entered series production. At the same time however, a team under the heavy tank designer Troyanov was assigned to develop an improved IS-3 with a larger engine and redesigned turret. This would emerge in 1945 as the IS-4. However, only 250 were produced.
Extrapolating from what we know about another Soviet superheavy tank design, the IS-7, we can make some rough estimates about the VL-1's intended capabilities and features. It was most likely larger and heavier than the IS-7, since it was supposed to have eight road-wheels instead of the IS-7's 7 road wheels. However, it probably did not have the IS-7's internal trunnion turret design, which caused the entire turret to elevate and depress, much like the oscillating turret on the French
Since the VL-1 was developed three years prior to the IS-7, it is probable that the Is-7 incorporated several design features of the VL-1, most likely the 130mm S-70 naval gun, with a 7m (~23ft) barrel. The crew size was probably the same size as well, with five members, most likely a driver, gunner, commander and two loaders. An automatic loader was probably installed as well in order to keep the size down and increase the rate of fire, though the gun had to be depressed to 0 degrees in order for the loader to work.
It is unlikely that the VL-1 was supposed to have the 8 machine guns, infrared sighting and Slostin AA gun (Slostin gun is an early minigun). It most likely had a SGMT machine-gun mounted coaxially and a DShK mounted on the roof for AA/anti-infantry defense. A stabilizing unit, same as that in the IS-3 was almost definitely included
Length - ~10.5 m
Width - ~3 m
Height - ~2.5 m
Weight - 70+ tons
Engine - 12 cylinder diesel engine w/800 hp
Speed - ~60 km/h (road)
Range - ~200 km
Main armament - 130mm S-70 naval gun w/30 rounds
Secondary armament - 1/2x 7.62mm SGMT machineguns, 1x 12.7mm DShK AA machinegun
Armor - 220 - 300 mm