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Supertest: ISU-122-2, Tier VIII Premium Soviet Tank Destroyer [5 Oct ’23]

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A new tier 8 Soviet tank destroyer appeared on Supertest this morning, notably being the second tank destroyer in the game to feature two guns (the first having been the also-Soviet SU-2-122):

VIII :flag_ussr_wot:ISU-122-2

The ISU-122-2 is a Tier VIII Soviet tank destroyer and the second double-barreled tank destroyer in the game.  

The vehicle’s most noteworthy feature is its gun system with low salvo preparation time and low time required to lock fire and reload after a salvo. An additional advantage of the ISU-122-2 is its excellent aiming time (2 s) and stabilization.  

Its weak armor does not allow the ISU-122-2 to engage in open combat which means playing from cover should be prioritized. However, paired with its high maximum speed (40 km/h) and maneuverability, the ISU-122-2’s firing characteristics determine the vehicle’s gameplay—quickly taking a firing position and delivering a salvo to a target, then preparing the next salvo, switching to single shots, or moving to the next position. 

Historical Background – Is This the Bear/Medved?

It took me a bit to realize this, but the ISU-122-2 – which was pretty much immediately dismissed as fake by many when it first appeared this morning – appears to actually be a representation of a historical project: the Bear (aka “Медведь”/”Medved”)! To quote the article covering this unusual vehicle on For The Record:

As you also know from World of Tanks, the Soviets had a large number of various heavy self-propelled guns. One of the later ones whas the one pictured above, the heavy SPG called “Medved” (“bear”). It was designed right before the end of the war (Spring 1945) by the combined effort of three design bureaus: the UZTM (Uralmash), No.100 Plant and No.9 plant. The plan was to create a long-range rapid-fire artillery vehicle, the main purpose of which would be rapid artillery fire missions and counter-battery fire. This design was a part of the “Medved” program and for some time, it had quite a high priority.

Unlike in the previous projects, which used usually a heavy tank chassis, here, the designers proposed a completely new chassis, but the “trademark” of this project was the use of a twin 122mm gun. It was planed that when this vehicle would fire one gun while the other gun was reloading, but in real life, this proved much more problematic than the developers thought. A test mockup was made with two 76,2mm guns and it worked fine, but in this case, the 76,2mm guns used single shells, while the 122mm guns used separate shells and charges. The twin-linked setup had to be abandoned and instead, the designers proposed two separate guns on each side of the vehicle by the end of 1945. In the end, a mockup was built in 1946 of the project, but that’s as far as it went, no further development was conducted and the project was cancelled.

It’s worth noting that in the very early stage of the WoT Soviet tree development, the “Medved” was listed as a top tierartillery vehicle. In the end, it was not implemented because there is no hard data on it available, no characteristics, nothing.

While the original FTR article states this vehicle would have been produced on a new chassis, the concept for this vehicle used a shortened version of the IS-2 chassis facing backrwards (as can be seen on in both the mockup above and the in-game representation).

However, do note that the version we have appears to have been modified slightly, including a slightly different superstructure shape (though, it appears other versions of this design may have existed, which could explain why this has been done). Furthermore, it is not yet clear whether the in-game version has an open or closed top.

Thanks to leggasiini for pointing me in the right direction on this one!

It is not yet known where this vehicle will appear in the game. Stay tuned for more info!

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