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ISU-152 (Zveroboy)

Self-Propelled Heavy Assault Gun Vehicle

Soviet Union | 1944

"The ISU-152 succeeded the the SU-152 in both production and service for the Soviet Army towards the end of World War 2."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The ISU-152 was an extension of the Su-152 self-propelled heavy assault gun vehicle (detailed elsewhere on this site) developed by the Soviet Union in late 1942 for service in World War 2. After recovering from the initial shock of the German invasion of 1941, the Soviet Army realized it required a heavy assault weapon to dislodge enemy positions at range - particularly in urban settings. This led to a period of quick study and evaluation that resulted in the KV-1 Heavy Tank chassis being reworked to accept a fixed, boxy armored superstructure to house the 155m ML-20 gun-howitzer. The result was the Su-152.

While successful for its time in the latter half of 1943, there was still room for improvement and this ultimately arrived in the form of the "ISU-152".

Unlike the earlier Su-152, the ISU-152 used the chassis and running gear of the newer IS (Josef Stalin) heavy tank series and were powered by a Kharkiv Model V-21S diesel-fueled engine of 520 horsepower. The crew number remained four or five and an optional 12.7mm DShK Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) could still be installed over the right side of the hull superstructure roof. The driver sat at front-left with the gunner and ammunition loader seated in line directly behind. The vehicle commander and breech operator were positioned to the right side of the hull superstructure. A pair of submachine guns (PPSh) were carried by the crew for extreme-close-in defense of the vehicle. A torsion bar suspension system provided the vehicle with some cross-country capability. The primary armament became the ML-20S gun-howitzer. Up to 18 x 155mm projectiles could be carried.

The ISU-152 was essentially a modernized version of the preceding Su-152 vehicle and its pilot form was tested at-speed from the period spanning September until November 1943. With revisions forced about due to issues that arose during this evaluation, the ISU-152 finally emerged as a (somewhat) combat-ready platform in short order. In December, serial production had already begun in time for the fighting of 1944 and, before the end of the war, over 1,800 ISU-152s would be produced and this work would continue until 1947 where total production would yield some 3,242 total units. By the end of its useful service life, various other modern systems were introduced to the series to help keep the vehicle as viable as possible for the modern battlefield. This also helped to sell the vehicle on the export market.

Beyond the base ISU-152 production model was the ISU-152-2, pilot vehicle of 1944 used in an attempt to improve on the design's inherent firepower. ISU-152K was a development of 1956 and a modernization of the aging wartime models while ISU-152M followed in 1959 as the final modernized form. "Object 704" was a related project of 1945 used to showcase the potential mix of IS-2/IS-03 heavy tank components in a new ISU-152 design - it was not adopted and the war drew to a close that year anyhow.

Operators of the product (beyond the Soviet Union) went on to include China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Iraq, North Korea, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia. Finland captured several examples during the "Continuation War" in 1944 with the Soviet Union. Iraq fielded the weapon in its war against neighboring Iran during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 - some examples were still in service during the 1991 Gulf War that followed. North Korea utilized the tank in the Korean War of 1950-1953 and Egypt took the ISU-152 into battle against neighboring Israel during the various Egyptian-Israeli wars that began in 1948. The Romanian Army designated the ISU-152 as the "T-152".

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the ISU-152 (Zveroboy) Self-Propelled Heavy Assault Gun Vehicle.
1 x Kharkiv Model V-21S diesel-fueled engine developing 520 horsepower.
Installed Power
19 mph
30 kph
Road Speed
106 miles
170 km
The physical qualities of the ISU-152 (Zveroboy) Self-Propelled Heavy Assault Gun Vehicle.
30.1 ft
9.18 meters
O/A Length
10.1 ft
3.07 meters
O/A Width
8.2 ft
2.5 meters
O/A Height
104,058 lb
47,200 kg | 52.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the ISU-152 (Zveroboy) Self-Propelled Heavy Assault Gun Vehicle.
1 x 155mm ML-20S/ML-20SM OR BL-8/BL-10 gun-howitzer.
1 x 12.7mm DShK/DShKM Anti-Aircraft (AA) Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) over hull roof (offset right).
1 x 12.7mm DShK coaxial machine gun (added in 1945).
18 to 21 x 155mm projectiles.
200 to 300 x 12.7mm ammunition.
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the ISU-152 (Zveroboy) family line.
T-152 - Romanian Army designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the ISU-152 (Zveroboy). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 3,242 Units

Contractor(s): Factory No.100 (Chelyabinsk) - Soviet Union
National flag of China National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Finland National flag of Iraq National flag of North Korea National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of Yugoslavia

[ China; Czechoslovakia; Egypt; Finland (captured); Iraq; North Korea; Romania; Poland; Yugoslavia ]
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Image of the ISU-152 (Zveroboy)
Image from the United States Department of Defense.

Going Further...
The ISU-152 (Zveroboy) Self-Propelled Heavy Assault Gun Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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