A photo of an accident involving a giant Russian vehicle resembling an intercontinental ballistic missile transporter and a passenger car has recently surfaced on social media.
The image depicts a car with extensive damage to its entire frame, possibly from a collision with a military vehicle. The impact was so severe that the car’s rear axle hung down oddly to the right.
The military vehicle didn’t seem to sustain any damage in the collision. The picture was first tweeted on August 4 by the Tom Bullock account. However, the details of this ICBM-like carrier vehicle’s accident are unclear.
recent car crash in Russia pic.twitter.com/NeM96qcEbK
— tom (@tom_bullock_) August 4, 2022
Bullock mentioned that the incident occurred recently in Russia, but he did not provide any additional information regarding the date or location of the incident. Also, it is unclear what the two vehicles’ occupants’ conditions are.
The training vehicle and the car appeared to have a nearly head-on collision. If this were the case, the small car had little chance of surviving the large military vehicle.
At first, netizens assumed that the vehicle in the picture was a MAZ-7917 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) carrying a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). However, many international defense experts drew attention to the fact that it is a training vehicle for ICBM drivers.
These rare military vehicles are equipped with missile-sized tanks that can be stuffed with sand or water through sizable hatches on top, simulating the breaking speeds of a fully loaded mobile ICBM launcher.
The Topol driver training vehicle’s precise weights, measurements, and other details are not widely available. However, it is said that the MAZ-7917 chassis on which it is based is about 61.3 feet long and has a curb weight of 35.8 tons. With a turning radius of about 88.5 feet, it also doesn’t seem like a very maneuverable vehicle.
According to the experts, there are a few countries where one might encounter a mobile ICBM launcher or trainer on public roads. However, in the past, Russian military personnel have also been involved in similar events.
For instance, a picture of an RS-24 Yars TEL snarled in traffic on the Moscow Automobile Ring Road surfaced in 2019.
RS-24 Yars mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles stuck in a traffic jam at Moscow Automobile Ring Road.
— Ruslan Trad (@ruslantrad) February 26, 2019
Generally, military vehicles carrying live warheads, lethal weapons, and missiles travel under stricter security and are frequently dispersed throughout rural areas on mildly improved roads.
For example, a heavy-guarded 18-wheeler truck was spotted in the US in March 2022. A video from the time shows an 18-wheeler truck with symbols for “explosives” on the back being escorted by a convoy of police cars and military vehicles, some of which had signs indicating “convoy ahead.”
Nevertheless, there have also been some instances of Russian military personnel colliding with civilian vehicles in more serious accidents and minor collisions. In 2019, two 15-ton BTR-80 armored personnel carriers were in a bizarre collision with four car drivers.
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 1, 2019
In 2014, a picture of a Russian military vehicle carrying deadly weapons crashing into a police car went viral on Reddit. According to many, the car involved in the incident belonged to the military police.
Driving a vehicle like an ICBM transporter is undoubtedly challenging on the highways. They have some of the largest wheels on the planet, very little visibility, and enormous size. It requires good training to drive these massive military vehicles in different terrains.
It’s unclear what happened at this time; the car may have been hit before colliding with the training vehicle. Nonetheless, Russian media outlets haven’t reported anything about the accident.