Mighty MAZ and MZKT 12x12 missile carriers...or should that be tippers? Only Vladimir could deliver such behemoths to Biglorryblog.
Just when I was wondering if something had happened to Bigloryblog's man in Russia (or should I say Belarus) Vladimir Chekhuta---up he pops with a cheery "Hello Brian, I found this interesting photo of a big 60-tonne MAZ-547 (12x12) tipper!" And what a beast it is too...
Vladimir goes on to say; "It's very rare Ukrainian truck. The six-axle MAZ-547 truck was originally designed as carrier of 'Pioneer' (SS-20 in NATO catalogue) ballistic missiles which were targeted on Europeans cities..." Nice of you to tell me that Vladimir! Anyway I'll let him continue: "After the agreement between Gorbi and Reagan in the 80s the missiles were destroyed----but the MAZ-547 chassis remained, although minus a large piece of the rear frame which was cut away." Vladimir reckons: "After such a 'circumcision' the missile transporter then became a civil-only chassis. In the 90s many firms tried to use MAZ-547 chassis for drop-siders, cranes, tanker and other uses----but it was very difficult. A rocket transporter doesn't work like normal vehicle!"
And why not wonders BLB? Well Vladimir explains further: "The 650hp engine eats up a lot fuel (280l/100km), and the 3m width makes it rather embarrassing to use on normal roads. Then there's the small matter of reliability and the absence spare parts (production of the 12x12 chassis having long since stopped). I thought that all the MAZ-547 were used up in the 90s but it seems the Ukrainians found some of the chassis on a military storage base and decided to transform the missile carrier chassis into a tipper." Good idea.
Now click through here for more from Vladimir and pictures of 'Son of MAZ-547'!
"We haven't any of MAZ-547 in Belarus, one is in a museum (at Tolyatti, Russia) That's it above. Meanwhile Vladimir concludes: "Maybe you saw on TV the military parade in Moscow. There were some MZKT-7917 transporters with 'Topol' missiles. And here it is pictured below-----the 'son of MAZ-547'. Thought it might interest you. Best regards, Vladimir."
It does Vladimir...it does. Although if you don't mind me saying so I love the truck....but you can keep the missiles ....please!