The T-35 was designed by the Experimental Design Mechanical Section (OKMO) at the Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad by a team led by N. Tsiets.
The Red Army wanted a multi-turreted vehicle that would break through heavy defenses.
The engine was placed in the rear half of the hull.
Internally the crew was linked by telephones. The commander was quite over worked by having to coordinate five separate turrets.
The main armament of the T-35 prototype was the 76.2 mm 1927/32 tank gun. There were four BT-2 turrets that were placed around the vehicle. The right front and left rear had 37 mm 1930 tank guns. The left front and right rear had 7.62 mm DT MGs in ball mantlets.
In 1935 new turrets, similar to the BT-5's turrets without the rear extension, replaced the BT-2 turrets. These turrets had 45 mm 1932 guns. The machine gun turrets were also replaced by turrets from the T-37 amphibian tank. The main turret was redesigned to have a cylindrical shape and rear extension. There was a radio installed and the antenna wrapped around the turret.
Some models had a flame-thrower installed in one of the 45 mm gun turrets.
The T-35 had a M-17 engine that produced 500 HP. There were 5 forward and 1 reverse gear.
There was a suspension member for each pair of road wheels. There were rubber tires for the road wheels.