At the outset of the Cold War, weapons designers were hard at work on both sides of the Berlin Wall seeking to stay ahead of the other side in case total war did in fact break out. One of the big ideas in Russia was the survivability of tanks on the battlefield in light of the perception that if hostilities began between Warsaw Pact and NATO forces the United States would most certainly use nukes. US planners also began making armored vehicles NBC proof, or sealed with filtered or internal air systems protected from nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. The Type 279 most certainly was built to survive the deadly man portable shaped charged missiles, chemical weapons, and tank to tank battle.
The main armament of this massive tank was a 130mm M 65 rifled gun. It would fire APDS rounds at 1000 meters per second. A tank round from this gun would easily penetrate over two feet of rolled steel armor. The project was killed when the Soviets remembered the lessons in mobility that helped them win World War II. Battlefield tanks were limited to 50 metric tons. The massive size, added tracks and extra armor were designed to make this the type of tank that could travel where other tanks could not. At the end of the day, this tank was stopped by the signature on a weapons contract.