Philippine Marine Corps and Navy receive upgraded Cadillac Gage V-150 Commando and V-300 light armored vehicles

Indian company Larsen & Toubro Ltd, in collaboration with the Indian Government, has successfully delivered upgraded Cadillac Gage V-150 Commando and V-300 light armored vehicles to the Philippine Navy (Marines) and Philippine Air Force on September 19, 2023, MaxDefense Philippines reports.
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Cadillac Gage V-150 and V-300 Commandos after modernization by the Indian company Larsen & Toubro (Picture source: Philippine Marine Corps and Philippine Navy)

This milestone signifies the completion of the Light Armor Systems Upgrade Joint Project within the Horizon 2 Priority Phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program. The Indian Government played a crucial role in assisting Larsen & Toubro in completing the project, which faced significant delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.

The Philippine Marine Corps conducted road testing of the V-150 and V-300 Commando armored vehicles in Bulacan on June 7, 2023, as part of the evaluation process for these upgraded vehicles under the Light Armor System Upgrade (LARSU) project. The LARSU project is a collaborative effort involving the Philippine Marine Corps, the Philippine Air Force, and Larsen & Toubro, implemented during the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP.

The LARSU Mobility Upgrade encompasses various components, such as the power pack, cooling system, driver's control, driveshafts, wheel and tire assembly, steering assembly, electrical systems, suspension, brakes, and fuel system. Additionally, turret upgrades are part of the LARSU project, although it seems that the turret upgrades for the V-300 may not have been completed at the time of testing, resulting in the use of turretless vehicles.

The Cadillac Gage Commando, also known as the M706 in U.S. military service, is an American armored car with amphibious capabilities originally designed for the U.S. Military Police Corps during the Vietnam War. It played a vital role in escorting armed convoys and combining the roles of an armored personnel carrier and a conventional armored car. The Philippine Armed Forces initially had 185 units of the Commando series in their inventory.

The Cadillac Gage LAV-300, originally named the V-300, is a family of American light armored vehicles with multiple configurations. These vehicles were modernized by Floro International Corporation and Larsen & Toubro for the Philippine Marine Corps, with various upgrade projects undertaken to replace worn-out components. The LAV-300 has a crew capacity of three members and can carry nine passengers.The vehicle can reach a top speed of 105 km/h with a range of 925 km. Additionally, it can be air-transported by various military aircraft.

Defense News September 2023