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Designed in the 1960s, the MAZ-543 was presented on 7 November 1965 during the Moscow Red Square military parade as part of SS-1с Scud B (9K72 Elbrus) system. The vehicle is powered by a 38.9 litre D12A-525 tank diesel engine producing around 525 horsepower, and gives a maximum road speed of 37 mph (60 km/h). There have been a number of variants.
The 1967 MAZ-543A, arrived (with extra carrying capacity up to 22000 kg). It served as the basis for several civilian vehicles, including the AA-60(543)-160 aerodrome fire-fighting vehicle (1973), the AA-70(543)-172 experimental emergency vehicle, and the KS-5571 crane. In 1974 at the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy, a new prototype modification (MAZ-7310) was presented. It has been in production since 1976.
The MAZ-7310 could operate together with 4WD MAZ-8385 as a road-train (total length - 205.5 m). It was used in Siberia for oil surveying, and also as a tractor on military airbases. It completely replaced the previous 543 model, including a dump-truck MAZ-7510, aerodrome fire-fighting vehicle AA-60(7310)-160.01 (1978) and the crane KS-5573 (1981).
In January 1983 the carrying capacity was increased by one more ton with the same dead weight (MAZ-7313 model). In particular this model was used to transport boring rigs, lifting cranes KS-5576 and KS-6571, and aerodrome fire-fighting vehicles AA-60(7313)-160.01 and AA-60(7313)-220.
The MAZ-543M version was designed to carry the BM-30 Smerch Multiple rocket launcher.
The MAZ-543P (carrying capacity - 19600 kg) was used for 9K76 Temp-S system.
This variant is used to carry the air defense missile complex S-300PMU-2.
In 1986, People's Republic of China fielded its version of MAZ-543. Initially designated WS580 but later renamed WS2400, this Chinese version is one of the Wanshan series trucks manufactured by Wanshan Special Vehicle, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Aerospace Sanjiang Space Co. Ltd., which is in turn a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). The advantage of the Chinese vehicle is that it utilizes a German diesel engine, transmission and hydraulics manufactured by Wanshan in China, built using technologies transferred from ZF Friedrichshafen.
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