Cadillac Gage Commando

Cadillac Gage Commando

Infobox Weapon
name=LAV-100, LAV-150 Commando (Armoured Fighting Vehicle)

caption=Cadillac Gage XM706E2
origin=United States of America
type=Light Armoured Vehicle
manufacturer=Cadillac Gage
variants=See text
weight=9,888 kg.
length=5.69 m
width=2.26 m
height=2.54 m (turret roof), 1.98 m (hull top)
primary_armament=1 x 20 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm Machinegun
secondary_armament=2x6 40 mm Smoke Dischargers
engine=V-504 V8 diesel turbo charged engine
engine_power=202 bhp
pw_ratio=18.75 bhp/ton
vehicle_range=643 km
speed=88 km/h (road), 5 km/h (water)
The Cadillac Gage Commando is an 4x4 amphibious APC built by Cadillac Gage. It is no longer produced although the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle, a modern derivative, is in production. The vehicle could be outfitted for many roles, including armored personnel carrier, ambulance, Fire apparatus, anti-tank vehicle, mortar carrier, etc.

Design and development

The V-100 series of vehicles was developed in the early 1960s by the Terra-Space division of the Cadillac Gage company. By 1962 a patent was filed and received by Terra-Space for a vehicle then only known as the Commando. [Lathrop and McDonald, 2002. p. 4-5] The first prototype emerged in 1963, and the production variants entered service in 1964.

The vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive and uses axles similar to the ones used in the M34 series of trucks. The engine is a gasoline-powered 360 cubic inch Chrysler V8, same as in the early gas models of the M113 armored personnel carriers. Its 5-speed manual transmission allows it to traverse relatively rough terrain. The M706 has a road speed of 62 mph, and can travel across water at 3 mph. The armor consists of high hardness alloy steel called Cadaloy, which protects against projectiles up to 7.62 x 51 mm. Partly because of its armor, the M706 has an unloaded mass of over 7 tons. As a result, a common problem with the vehicle is rear axle failure caused by the extreme weight. The V-100 was available in turret and open-top models. Factory prototype turret options included the T-60, T-70, and T-90. The T-60 featured a combination of two .50 caliber machine guns, two .30 caliber machine guns, or one of each, and had manual traverse. The specific .30 caliber machine gun options were extremely varied, with from factory configurations including the M1919A4E1, M37, M73, M219, and MG42. Later the M60 and FN MAG were also added to the list of options. [Lathrop and McDonald, 2002. p. 10] The Cadillac Gage company also intended to use the solenoid trigger equipped fixed machine gun version of the Stoner 63 weapon system, but this was dropped after tests showed the smaller caliber cartridge to be unsuited to this role. ["Mongo's Stoner 63A Page". 2005. [ Stoner 63A Fixed MG] . Access Date: 14 February 2008]

The T-90 featured a single 20mm cannon with power traverse. The T-70, developed for police use, featured 4 tear gas launchers, vision blocks all around the turret for 360 degree vision, and no other weapons. The T-70 and T-90 were not put into mass production with a modified T-60, with the guns mounted together in the center, instead of on the outer edges, becoming the standard. A variant of this turret featuring the 7.62mm General Electric Minigun was also developed. [Lathrop and McDonald, 2002. p. 9-10]

In addition an open topped variant with a central parapet was developed. The intended usage of this variant was to be a mortar portee, but a total of four machine gun mounts could also be fitted. A enclosed raised superstructure "pod" was also developed for converting the V-100 into either a command vehicle or for police use. The variants for police work featured special elongated firing ports for better angles of fire for tear gas grenade launchers. [Lathrop and McDonald, 2002. p. 10, 42]

Operational use

The Commando was used in Vietnam by the US Army Military Police, US Air Force and US-allied forces including the ARVN. It was introduced in Vietnam as the XM706 Commando first to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam who loaned the first examples to the US Army in 1967. By the end of 1968, the US Army had purchased its own version of the armored car, the XM706E1, later standardized as the M706. Within the US Army it was affectionately known as "the Duck", or "the V".

The main differences between the XM706 and XM706E1/M706 were in the design of the gas tank fill port covers, side windows, front vision blocks, and most importantly in the weaponry. The XM706 featured two .30-06-caliber M37 machine guns, while the XM706E1/M706 for the US Army featured two 7.62 mm NATO M73 machine guns for better ammunition commonality with existing weapons. The ARVN, on the other hand, were still using a variety of weapons in the .30-06 caliber, and had relevant ammunition in their supply train.

In practice, the ARVN found the standard two-gun armament to be lacking and often mounted an additional M1919A4 machine gun on a standard tripod mount at the rear radio operator's hatch. [Lathrop and McDonald, 2002. p. 17] A number of their V-100s were also refitted with the combination turret armament of one M37 and one .50 BMG-caliber M2HB machine gun. [Lathrop and McDonald, 2002. p. 15] The V-100 in with the ARVN mainly saw service in armored car elements of armored cavalry units, but also as part of the mechanized platoons of the Regional Forces. [United States, 1971. p. I-8] Compared to the American counterparts ARVN V-100 units had larger crews, including a commander riding shotgun, and a radio operator outside the rear hatch.Fact|date=January 2008

Another model, the XM706E2, was supplied to the US Air Force for base protection purposes, post-attack reconnaissance against munitions and EOD use. The XM706E2 featured no turret and an open topped center parapet. In practice a variety of weapons were mounted on USAF XM706E2s, but the most common configuration was one .50 BMG-caliber M2HB machine gun and one 7.62mm NATO M60 machine gun. Other equipment included the XM174 40 mm grenade launcher and searchlights. The 3rd Security Police Group of the United States Air Force at Clark Air Base Republic of the Philippines was still was operating the "Duck" as a Fire-Team vehicle until it received M1026 HMMWVs in the fall of 1988. The vehicles were then semi-retired, and occasionally used as "steel" bunkers at the gates, because of the difficulty in keeping the 20 year old vehicles running.Fact|date=June 2008

The V-100 carries a maximum crew of 12. In road patrol, convoy duty and base defense use by the US Army's Military Police, it usually had a crew of two: driver and gunner. Additional armament often included two or three top-mounted M2 machine gun or M60 machine guns. Other weapons such as M134 Miniguns were also sometimes used. Passengers could also use their personal weapons to fire through the vehicle's various gun ports. On the modern battlefield, the V-100 is now largely obsolete, as up-armoured HMMWVs have been used as armoured cars. However, it remains in service with various smaller forces, such as Vietnam People's Army, Royal Thai Army, Republic of China Military Police, the Philippine Army, Marine Corps, and Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police, the Army of Venezuela and the Jamaican Defence Force. It was used by Malaysian Army in Second Malayan Emergency (now retired) and Royal Malaysian Police (GOF- Pasukan Gerakan Am) until now. The vehicle is also used by many SWAT units in the US and gendarmerie forces overseas. The V-100 would be the starting point for the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle which is being used by the U.S. Army for convoy protection and other duties in Iraq.

For many years the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had used V-100's and have had entire squads of them for SWAT ops. They pioneered the first SWAT teams and were the first to use the V-100 as a police vehicle. Typically a court issued warrant is required to use them however the LAPD has deployed them outside of that requirement. On a moments notice the LAPD Metropolitan Division can have a V-100 in the field for shooting scenarios as well as officer assistance calls. Instead of outfitting these "Tanks" with guns the LAPD would attach a 10-foot battering ram. In modern day some SWAT teams around the nation have had similar V-100's. LAPD has somewhat phased out the V-100. On the A&E TV show "Detroit SWAT" a V-100 with a battering ram is often seen being used by the Detroit SWAT team. Most SWAT ops now are more updated with better equipped APC and Armoured vans however when needed the V-100 continues to be a valuable tool for making a tactical entrance on a building, residence,etc.Fact|date=January 2008

The V-150 was a hybrid variant which actually came after the V-200 and was based on the V-200 but had some V-100 features. It could be equipped with diesel or gasoline engines and most were produced for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Their version was called the V-150S.

ubsequent variants

Cadillac Gage's basic V-100 vehicle spawned an entire series of vehicles. This development was continued even after the production and further development of the system was passed to Marine and Land Division of the Textron company. The include updated 4x4 vehicles, but also expanded 6x6 vehicles utilizing a similar design and some basic components.


The V-150 was a hybrid variant which actually came after the V-200 and was based on the V-200 but had some V-100 features. It could be equipped with diesel or gasoline engines and most were produced for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Their version was called the V-150S.

In the 1980s Portugal developed a series of clones called the Chaimite, which included a version with a 90mm turret (V-400 Chaimite), but the Portuguese Army chose to buy 15 examples of the US-made V-150 Commando. ["Areamilitar". [ Chaimite V-400 - BRAVIA] . Access Date: 12 January 2008] ["Areamilitar". [ LAV-150 - Textron Marine & Land/Portugal] . Access Date: 12 January 2008]


The V-200 was a much enlarged version of the V-100 and utilized many components of the US Army's 5 ton trucks, this version was specially tailor-made to the specifications of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and manufactured exclusively for use by the SAF. ST Kinetics upgraded the Singaporean fleet of V-200 vehicles in the 2002-2003 time frame with upgrades including fully electric turret drive system by Moog as well as on both the engine and transmission systems. All in all, about 250 V-200s were acquired by SAF with the Singapore Army keeping 150 V-200s in storage while the remaining 100 V-200s are still in use by the Republic of Singapore Air Force as SHORAD air-defence systems, equipped with Swedish RBS 70 Surface-to-air missiles and FN MAG 7.62 mm General-purpose machine guns.


The V-300 is a 6x6 variant originally designed for a heavy weapons support role.


The V-600 is a much heavier version of the V-300 and was intended to fulfill heavier weapons support. The primary version is equipped with a 105 mm turret.


"Information from Cadillac Gage V-100 Commando, 1960-1971" [Lathrop and McDonald, 2002. p. 13, 41-3]
* (Taiwan) (V150/V150S)

"Please note, this list is not complete."

imilar vehicles

* M1117 Armored Security Vehicle - a Commando derived vehicle for the United States Army Military Police Corps
* Bravia Chaimite - a Portuguese vehicle similar to the Commando.
* Dragoon AFV - a Vehicle produced by Arrowpointe Corporation (now General Dynamics Land Division).
* The "Hari-Digma" was a contender in the competition for a new wheeled armoured personnel carrier for the Philippine Armed Forces. It lost out to the Simba which won the competition. There were two Hari-Digma prototypes which differed in the location of the turret.
* The French "VXB" which was built in small numbers for the Gendarmerie and for Gabon
*BOV, a Yugoslav manufactured vehicle, it was later supplanted by the LOV in former Yugoslav countries.
*Armadillo, The Armadillo is based on a commercial truck chassis. Guatemala had to develop this armoured car by itself because they couldn't purchase US-made equipment. The design was obviously inspired by the Commando series. Only 18 were produced.
*DN Caballo - The DN-III (or DN-3) was the first vehicle of the Mexican DN-series that actually entered service (in 1979). The vehicle is probably based on the base of a US-made Dodge 4x4 truck and is also known as SEDENA 1000. The basic vehicle was armed with only a 7.62 mm machine gun FN MAG on top of a MOWAG-type of turret. The Mexican army has 24 vehicles in service.
* BRDM-2, a Soviet scout car.




* Lathrop, Richard and John McDonald. "Cadillac Gage V-100 Commando, 1960-1971"'. London, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1-84176-415-9
* United States. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Civilian Operations and Rural Development Support. "RF/PF Advisors Handbook." Saigon, Vietnam: RF and PF Division, Territorial Security Directorate, Civilian Operations and Rural Development Support, Headquarters Military Assistance Command Vietnam, 1971

External links

* [ Global Security - M706 / V-100 Commando]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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