MAZ-7907 – its twelve axle chassis has giant dimensions: length – 30 m, width – 4,8 m, height – 4,5 m. The main technical feature of the vehicle is its use of a 1250 hp gas turbine engine that is usually found in a tank.
It has a rather complicated but efficient electric transmission with 24 driving wheels. Articulated frame and substantial size of the wheels, whose diameter is over two meters, enable the 200-tonne vehicle to drive on dirt roads at a maximum speed of 25 km/h. The mass of the vehicle – 65 800 kg. Carrying capacity – 150 tons.
It’s the only vehicle with 24 driving wheels, 16 of them are steering ones. What was it made for and how? Let’s find out.
The MAZ project was developed at the end of the 1970s, its chassis was made in 1982. All the works were kept in high secrecy and even today nobody wants to share the reason it was created. Load capacity – 220 tons, loaded weight – 360 tons. Width – 6,8 m, length – 32,2 m, height – 3,45 m, Bridgestone wheel diameter – 2,8 m, wheel arrangement – 12×12. The chassis has two motors, one is the previously mentioned 1250 hp motor, the other one is an ordinary 330 hp diesel engine, it has two parallel hydro mechanical transmissions.
The vehicle drove out of the shop only according to a strict schedule when no spy satellites were flying over Minsk (Belarus). That chassis was sent to Baikonur for testing, where its dark history came to an end.
Under the project “Tselina-2”, two MAZ-7906 (16×16) units were made in 1984, another couple of MAZ-7907 24×24 units came to life in 1985. Their carrying capacity (150 t) enabled them to transport the project 100-tonne missile RT-23 “Molodets”. Later the project was cancelled and the vehicles fell into oblivion.
The chassis of MAZ-7907 successfully passed the tests but was never put into service.
In 2006, two elements of two MAZ-7907 units were assembled together, awaiting further restoration at the factory at Minsk. That chassis is supposed to become one of the elements of the factory’s museum exposition.
Once, they transported an 88 tonne rover boat a distance of 250 km.
Compared to the MAZ-7906, the MAZ-7907 had smaller axial loads, an easier control, better vibro-acoustic characteristics, better efficiency at low temperature, better performance characteristics (due to an electric transmission), and better railway transportability.