The heavy tank epitomizes the basic approach of the Red Army: overwhelming firepower. They are stronger than the Allied tanks but more expensive to produce, and slower. Soviet commanders can even the odds by constructing more than one war factory in order to produce Heavy tanks faster, thus allowing them to overwhelm Allied tanks (this of course requires a lot of resources).
The basic tank of the Soviets, the heavy tank is equipped with twin 105mm cannons, giving it twice the punch of the nearest Allied equivalent during initial contact, the medium tank. It sacrifices movement speed and rate of fire for this bonus, but the net result still makes it a formidable opponent on the battlefield.
Contrary to popular belief, the heavy tank does not deal twice the damage per second compared to the medium tank. Though it sports twin 105 mm cannons, the medium tank sports a single 90 mm cannon which shoots faster than the heavy tank's 105 mm cannon while dealing the same damage. By the time it takes a medium tank to fire out 7 shots, a heavy tank has fired out 10.
In one of the expansion missions a malfunctioning Chronosphere altered the weapons of units, causing its guns to discharge lightning instead.
While it is a double-barreled tank, some cutscenes show it as having only a single barrel (resembling a normal T-80U, although the gun is noticeably smaller than that on the real-life T-80). It's likely that the single-barreled versions were earlier models from which the twin-barreled version was developed; When the player first meets Georgi Kukov in the second Soviet mission, several single-barreled Soviet tanks are seen in the background, including one which strongly resembles a T-54. Another possibility is that they were developed as lower-cost variants of the double-barreled Heavy tank.
The cutscenes portray the heavy tank as a double-barreled T-80. The in-game heavy tank sprite, however, has a lot of resemblance to GDI's medium tank of Tiberian Dawn. In fact, the Allied medium tank, Soviet heavy tank, and GDI medium tank all use the same hull sprite in-game, but with different turret sprites.
Urban camouflage render
Heavy tank knocked out in the forest
Heavy tanks being attacked by Allied Longbows
A Soviet base under Allied bombardment. A single-barrelled heavy tank is parked behind the guard tower.
Heavy tank in the view of binoculars
Render from Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Remastered, used as Steam trading card
Single-barrelled heavy tanks approaching an Allied base
Double-barrelled heavy tanks passing through a mountain