The IS-6 is the fifth variant of the IS heavy tank family. It was never mass-produced and remained in the prototype stage. There was an effort to develop a replacement for the IS-2 in the closing years of World War II ('The Great Patriotic War' to the Soviets). The IS-6 (Object 252/Object 253) and IS-4 (Object 701) were created as a result of the development process. This effort was highly classified, with two competing factories creating their designs in complete secrecy for fear of exposing knowledge to one another. On paper, the IS-6 appeared to be superior to any tank in Germany's inventory at the time. However, due to mechanical faults and generally poor performance, it was beaten by its competitor during test trials, the IS-4, which entered service in 1946. Despite this, a last-ditch effort was made to improve the IS-6, with minimal success. The improved IS-6 would be known as the Object 252 November improvement, or simply the Object 252U.
Introduced in Update 1.67 "Assault", the IS-6 is one of the most feared tanks in its ranks, thanks to its strong main armament and incredible mobility packed inside a steeply sloped, thick armour that most conventional ammunition cannot penetrate. This tank may be used in every role and situation, and it will undoubtedly find a place on the battlefield. The IS-6's excellent mobility and reasonable reverse speed allow it to navigate through challenging environments that many other tanks would struggle with. Players familiar with IS heavy tanks will be happy to learn that the IS-6 has superior manoeuvrability when compared to other variants.
Survivability and armour
100 mm sloped at more or less 60° on all sides provide this vehicle with a reputation to be a ricochet master. Firing on the hull from almost any angle will only result in a glancing shot. The only weak spot being the lower sides of the hull and turret sides and rear, the only way to reliably penetrate it is to get a shot from the side. An attentive player that never shows the sides is an invincible opponent. However, be aware of the frontal armour, as the extremely angled turret armour encasing the cannon breech can create a shot trap and ricochet the shell into the driver's area. This will likely result in your ammo exploding. Be wary when facing any opponent.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, turret roof, cupola roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (turret, cupola)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 100 mm (62-65°) Front glacis
120 mm (53°) Lower glacis
100 mm (65°) Driver's port
| 120 mm (45°) Top
100 + 10 mm Bottom
| 60-75 mm (60°) Top
60 mm (30°) Bottom
|Turret|| 150 mm (6-45°) Turret front
100-200 + 50 mm (1-76°) Gun mantlet
|150 mm (7-51°)||100 mm (5-50°)||30 mm|
|Cupola||100 mm (cylindrical)|| 100 mm Outer ring |
30 mm Centre
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick. Torsion bar connectors by the wheels are 60 mm thick.
- Spaced armour plates are placed on the sides, giving an additional 10 mm of side armour.
From the front, only high-end rounds (HEATFS, HESH, APFSDS) can penetrate the IS-6. Otherwise, flank it since its lower side armour is flat behind the tracks. In a close to medium range fight, if the IS-6 is static and facing you, try to shoot its right side turret cupola, a penetrating APHE shell may knock out the commander and gunner, disabling the tank (some large calibre rounds can even knock out the loader and/or driver, resulting in an instant elimination). This strategy is not applicable with rounds that don't have HE filler.
Another weak spot is the left side of the mantlet which has the optics in it. This part of the armour is thin enough that most shells at the BR can penetrate it, and in doing do, incapacitate the commander and gunner and destroy the cannon breech. If you are lucky and the IS-6 has ammo in the back of its turret, there is a chance to detonate it as well for an instant elimination.
If you happen to flank an IS-6, take the time to aim since half of its side is covered by its dreaded armour. A missed shot will alert the IS-6 player, withdrawing with its fast speed from sight before another shot could be landed. Turret sides and back can ricochet rounds as well, so keep the hull as a priority target.
If encountering this foe from its back, keep in mind to aim for the middle of the engine deck since plates on both sides are as though as their frontal counterparts. If confident, go for it and aim at the turret back.
Any round penetrating the crew compartment leads to an ammo rack detonation most of the time since this tank's interior is filled with ammo all over the place.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
If used well, the IS-6 can get into position as fast as a T-54. It is certainly one of the fastest late IS-series tanks. It reaches 44.3 km/h (27.5 mph), the top speed in RB, with ease and has a reverse speed of -16.1 km/h (10 mph).
Modifications and economy
The IS-6 features an upgraded version of the D-25T gun found on other IS series variants, the D-30T. Though identical ballistically, it provides a much faster reload, with the IS-6 having a default reload rate only 0.5 seconds longer than the T-10M. The IS-6 uses the same ammo load as the IS-3 with the best shell being the BR-471D.
|122 mm D-30T||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|30|| 13 (+17)
| 9 (+21)
| 7 (+23)
| 5 (+25)
| 3 (+27)
| 1 (+29)
- The IS-6 uses two-piece ammunition, composed of propellant bags (orange) and projectiles (yellow). Both have separate racks.
- Turret empty: 13 (+17) shells.
|12.7 mm DShK|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm DT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The IS-6 brings about improved mobility characteristics compared to the IS-3 in the tech tree, yet retains similar armour characteristics and firepower (though it lacks the higher-penetrating BR-471D shell). This mobility improvement should not be taken lightly as it allows the IS-6 to react faster to new threats, whether it be an offensive push, a repositioning, or a short withdrawal.
The role the IS-6 excels at is as a breakthrough vehicle. The IS-6 should take front stage when it comes to assaulting an objective. Its speed and armour can allow the heavy tank to take on enemy fire while on the move as most AP rounds will struggle to penetrate the IS-6 when its armour remains sloped towards the enemy. Make the enemies focus on the IS-6 so teammates can move up and engage the enemies from different angles. Once the enemy focuses on the teammates, move up and assist in taking out the enemy with the IS-6's 122 mm gun.
Firepower may be rather lacklustre against heavier targets with the maximum 230 mm penetration at point-blank range, meaning shots with the IS-6 need to be carefully aimed towards the enemy's weak points. Combined with the lengthy reload, the first shot the IS-6 takes on an enemy is essential as it may determine the outcome of the engagement. These limiting factors mean that the ideal fighting range for the IS-6 is around 500 metres, as this allows the IS-6 to make the most of the 122 mm gun's penetration and velocity while staying far enough away that the enemy could not quickly rush the IS-6 while it is reloading. The reloading weakness can also be mitigated by having an escape plan ready, so use the IS-6's mobility to make a tactical retreat.
These features make the IS-6 a somewhat good defender as well, taking the role after assaulting an objective. Making use of cover in a capture area, the IS-6 can lock down chokepoints and focus its 122 mm gun down the range, using its mobility to quickly withdraw after a shot. As the IS-6 would be watching in a more stationary role, the gun handling would be more stable so to be able to make longer-ranged shots against enemies attempting to (re)capture the point. Do keep in mind the bad gun depression of only -3°, so the IS-6 is likely to have a good part of its armour exposed when attempting to face the enemy from a defensive position. As stated above, ensure a good escape strategy is formulated so that a bad 122 mm shot doesn't result in the enemy swarming the IS-6.
Facing enemies with HEATFS rounds is a dire situation for the IS-6 as the armour is not thick enough to withstand the round in any angle. Extreme caution should be taken when fighting those tanks. It would be more ideal to withdraw into a different firing position and either wait to ambush the enemy tank as it comes to pursue the IS-6 or provide teammates the opportunity to take out the enemy.
Pros and cons
- Reload rate considerably faster than usual 122 mm, default is only half a second slower than the T-10M
- The best 122 mm shell available is still manageable due to good overmatching mechanics and tremendous post-penetration damage potential
- Frontal armour is a 100 mm plate sloped at a very steep angle, making it mostly immune to anything that isn't APDS, HEATFS or APFSDS
- Like the IS-3, the lower plate isn't a weak spot
- Very good as side-scraping due to the high levels of side armour
- The turret is both small, well-armoured, and rounded
- The weak spot on the turret front is smaller than the Tiger II's, hitting it at ranges exceeding 500 m is very difficult
- Very low profile for a heavy, meaning it can hide in places that the Tiger II simply can't
- Is very fast and manoeuvrable for a heavy tank
- Due to the armour, fire rate, and reverse speed, the IS-6 is very good at shoot-and-scoot tactics as well as brawling
- Has a 12.7 mm pintle-mounted heavy machine gun on the roof
- Due to the top speed, high levels of armour, and firepower, the IS-6 is a more versatile tank than the IS-3
- Enemies firing HEAT and APDS are common and can penetrate the IS-6's armour with ease
- The IS-6 is still very capable of getting the turret front penetrated by tanks like the Tiger II, T29, and Centurion Mk 3
- Like most Russian heavies, has an abysmal 3 degrees of gun depression, so finding the proper hull down locations is hard
- The 4-man crew is crammed in a small crew compartment that's full of ammo, and penetrating APHE shell will likely incapacitate the entire turret crew or set off an ammo explosion
- 7.7 br makes this tank a shell of its former self
The Chelyabinsk Kirov Plant Work (ChKZ) began drafting the designs of a new heavy tank on 02 May 1944 with an electrotransmission, a drive system that was used on the German Ferdinand/Elefant. The plant was officially ordered to begin work on June 08 for two versions of the heavy tank, with emphasis of having significant advantages over the current IS-2 heavy tank. The heavy tank was designated as the IS-6 and the two versions were the Object 252 with a mechanical transmission and the Object 253 with a electric transmission. Both prototypes were produced in the Fall of 1944 and were sent to be tested at the NIIBT testing grounds at Kubinka.
The two prototypes differed in more ways than just the transmission. Object 252 used the mechanical transmission from the IS-3, with large road wheels and no track rollers for its torsion bar suspension. Object 253 used an electric transmission with a suspension that looked similarly to previous IS iterations with smaller road wheels and track rollers. The IS-6 prototypes failed to stay under the weight of the IS-2, being around 51.5 tons. The 122 mm gun arming the IS-6 was the D-30, compared to the D-25T on the predecessors. The D-30 implemented features such as the D-25's monobloc design, the 100 mm D-10's breech and gas block, a two-spring balancing mechanism, a lengthened D-25 mount, and a fume extractor. This gun was installed onto the IS-6 prototypes in December 1944.
The IS-6 prototypes were tested alongside the Object 701 (the prototype of the IS-4). The two IS-6 prototypes proved disappointing, with the Object 253's electric transmission being too complex, expensive, and unreliable. The Object 252's mechanical transmission also suffered from reliability issues. Suspension problems also impacted the IS-6, with its speed dropping below the heavier Object 701. It was hoped that the electric transmission would help make the tank more manoeuvrable, but the heavy weight prohibited any vast improvements. Overall, the IS-6 armour was deemed to not provide any improvements over existing designs, having only comparable armour, firepower, and mobility to the IS-2 and IS-3. In 1945, all work on the IS-6 ceased as work continued on the Object 701.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- TankArchives. "Electrical Transmission." Tank Archives. N.p., 02 June 2014. Web. 08 Jan. 2018. Website
- Kinnear, James, and Stephen L. Sewell. Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants. N.p.: Osprey Pub, 2017. Print
- TankArchives. "Launch of the IS-6." Tank Archives. N.p., 20 Dec. 2016. Web. 08 Jan. 2018. Website
- Boldyrev, Eugeni. "Last Heavy Tanks of the USSR." The Russian Battlefield. N.p., 18 Sept. 2011. Web. 08 Jan. 2018. Web Archive
- TankArchives. "Object 257: The First IS-7." Tank Archives. N.p., 12 June 2016. Web. 08 Jan. 2018. Website
- TankArchives. "D-30 Gun for the IS-6." Tank Archives. N.p., 19 Sept. 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2018. Website
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