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|Type||Light Armored Vehicle|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Variants||AIFV, Fire Support Vehicle, Internal Security, Anti-Tank|
|Height||2.7 m (turret roof), 1.98 m (hull top)|
|1 x 90 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm Machinegun|
|2x6 40 mm Smoke Dischargers|
|Engine||Cummins 6 CTA 8.3 diesel turbo charged engine
|Speed||105 km/h (road), 3 km/h (water)|
The Cadillac Gage Textron LAV-300, originally named as the V-300, is a family of American light armored vehicles (LAVs) including up to 15 configurations. LAV-300 offers high mobility, speeds of up to 65 mph (105 km/h), and can be air-transported by a C-5 Galaxy, C-141 Starlifter, C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. Some versions can be air-transported by CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter.
The LAV-300 6x6 series is the complement to Textron’s Marine and Land Division’s (formally Cadillac Gage) 4x4 Commando series. The Philippine Marines were supplied with an armored personnel carrier (APC) version with a turret armed with a .50 caliber and 7.62 mm machine gun and a fire support version armed with a Cockerill 90mm cannon. The Marine Corps had wanted the US-built LVTP7A1 (now called the AAVP-7A1) amphibious armored landing vehicle, and 36 vehicles were offered in the 1980s; however, partisan political and financial interests shot down the deal. Instead, V-150s were secured through FMS. In 1991, LAV-300s were proposed as the Philippine Marine Corps' share in the US bases compensation package. The Marines accepted them but mandated modifications to better suit their needs: pump jets for amphibious operations, a rear ramp for the easier discharge of troops, and a trim-vane. Smoke grenade launchers and the winch were scrapped to trim costs.
Like virtually all wheeled amphibious armored vehicles, the LAV-300 can only safely navigate calm bodies of water such as lakes and some rivers. Still, the Philippine Marine Corps makes full use of it, using these vehicles to great advantage in the campaigns against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kauswagan and the clearing of the Narciso Ramos Highway, among many recent battles.
The LAV-300's armor is composed of a high-hardness steel armor employed on a minimum silhouette hull capable of withstanding impacts of 7.62 mm caliber bullets at point-blank range and from any angle. Upgradeable armor floor plating protects the crew from landmines and hand grenade blasts. The survivability is further enhanced from low observable technology to minimize levels of thermal, seismic and audio signatures, and minimal radar return.
Highly mobile, the LAV-300 MK II is fully amphibious with no need for preparation for fording or swimming. The tires are radial tubeless and can be outfitted with run-flat inserts and a central tire inflation system, to further enhance mobility. LAV-300 MK II can climb a 60 percent gradient, operate on a 30 percent side slope, and tackle two-foot-high obstacles.
LAV-300 MK II’s turbocharged diesel engine allows for acceleration from 0 to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) in less than 10 seconds and can run on Jet-A fuel, kerosene and other lighter fuels when diesel is in short supply. The six-wheel, dual hydraulic brakes permit the vehicle to go from 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) to 0 in approximately 40 feet (12 m). LAV-300 MK II’s operating range is 575 miles (925 km).
The LAV-300 has fifteen different configurations—the most common being: command, armored personnel carrier, anti-tank, military logistics, ambulance and armored recovery vehicle. The following turrets are available for the LAV-300:
- 7.62 mm machine gun combined with 12.7 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm or 40 mm guns
- 20 mm anti-aircraft gun
- BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missile
- 90 mm gun
- 81 mm and 120 mm mortars.
- "LAV-300". Global Security. 2006. <http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/lav-300.htm>.
- "Philippine Marine Corps". Opus224's Unofficial Philippine Defense Page. 2001. <http://www.timawa.net/pmc.htm>.