The appearance of Zhosef Yakovlevich Kotin as the chief of the Kirov factory's SKB-2 design bureau in 1937 launched a number of interesting processes. Under O.I. Ivanov before him, the bureau sat quietly and worked on ideas that came from the top. There were few original projects, and the ones that were weren't seriously considered. The situation radically changed when Kotin arrived on the scene. A fierce competition broke out with experimental factory #185 that previously held a monopoly. The monopoly on breakthrough tanks was the first to crumble. This was Kotin's achievement, as he created first the SMK-1 then the KV. Factory #185 wanted to build their alternative to the KV with the index 050, but while the KV was accepted into service the 050 was not even built. At this point the experimental factory was reaching the end of its life.
|An experimental hull of the T-221, Kirov factory's first support tank.
|Either a predecessor or a contemporary of the T-50.
|The T-50 was originally envisioned like this. The sketch is dated November 19th, 1940.
|The second variant of the tank had a cast hull.
|Model of the tank, December 23rd, 1940.
|The two hull machine guns didn't live long.
|The Kirov factory's tank was influenced by German designs, particularly the shape of the turret and dual machine guns.
|The chassis had many similarities to the KV-1, although there were plenty of original solutions.
|Some of these solutions would return on the KV-13.
|Prototype of the tank. The flamethrower port is to the right of the driver's vision port.
|The tank was finished a month and a half after factory #174's entry.
|Trials of the tank stalled in March of 1941 when the Kirov factory essentially abandoned the project.
|The last activity relating to the T-50. It proved that the Kirov factory no longer cared about the T-50.