U.S.A. (1963)
Armoured car – about 9000 built all combined V-100, 150 & 200.

Development of the M706

Terra-Space division of the Cadillac Gage company designed in 1960 4×4 amphibious armored vehicle, expecting to fulfill the future needs of the army. The later required some sort of Jack-of-all-trades, a multi-purpose, 11-man APC, reconnaissance vehicle, convoy escort, command, patrol and a riot vehicle. By 1962, the patent was filed, and the projected vehicle named Commando. Development was fast as in 1963, the prototype undergone its first tests. The same year, the definitive production vehicle, the V-100, was tested thoroughly in Vietnam before the production was started in 1964. Total production figures are ellusive but at least 10 000 vehicles of the V-100, 150 and V-200 variants were delivered by CGC, then the Textron Marine & Land Systems company. The M706 is currently replaced by the M1117 since 1999, but still in service in many countries. The Philippines are one of the most prolific users of the model.

Design

To kept the prices low, the vehicle used many existing components. The axles were similar to the M34 truck series while the engine was the same V8 Chrysler, 360-cubic-inch gasoline that powered the M113 armored carriers. It had a 5-speed manual transmission. These allowed a top speed of 62 mph (100 kph) over rough terrain. Its 4×4 independent sprung roadwheels had massive tires to reduce ground pressure. The CGC can also swim at 3 mph (4.8 kph). Protection was provided by the “Cadalaloy”, a custom 0.25 in hardness alloy steel, protecting against small arms fire (7.62 cal.). This protection was also given by the well-sloped monocoque welded hull, also protecting the crew from mine blasts. However the alloy was not espcially light, and the empty weight of the vehicle was 7 tons.

This took its toll on the rear axle, which frequently failed, and not designed to support this extra load. Access was allowed from the two side doors and the turret cupola hatch. Vision was provided by height vision blocks (at first ten) with armored glass, and the revolving turret which featured a peripherical vision with ten vision blocks, plus a periscope. For close-fire, six pistol ports were also provided on the upper sides. The hull featured also an internal modular arrangement with interchangeable components, aimed at the export market.

The CGC accepted a large array of weapons. The first military version V-100 was usually armed with the same revolving turret that equipped the M113, armed with a twin M37 browning cal.30 (7.62 mm). This was in standard, but some versions received an upper open superstructure and one to three Browning cal.50 (12.7 mm), the front one being protected by an armored shield. Later on, the revolving turret was equipped with smoke dischargers and an M2 cal.50. Additional supports were sometimes welded for extra M60s. An export version accepted an M134 7.62mm Minigun. The V150 and V200 were more heavily armed and better used for recce and support. According to the Wall Street Journal in 1965, the base price tag for the M706 Commando was 24.500 $.

The V100

This was the main, early production version. Apart from the facts given above, there were two basic versions, a turret one, and an open-top version, with added upper protections. The side door, at first, in a single piece, was later produced in two parts. In 1964, one of the XM 706 prototypes tested a 20 mm armed turret, which never made it before the reinforced and longer V-150. The vehicle impressed the ARVN (Allied south Vietnamese Army which became the first customer of the V-100, apart from the ATAC (US Army Tank & Automotive Command).

A 40 mm automatic grenade launcher and new turrets were also quickly developed since the AVRN complained about the lack of firepower of the twin cal.30. But the project failed to meet the US Army requirement and failed to materialized after US troops disengaged from VN in 1972-73. The USAF received the XM706E2, with an open-top center parapet with a single M2HB machine gun under mask assisted by an M60 or two. Some were still in service at Clark AFB in the Republic of the Philippines in 1988. In patrols, a crew of 12 was often seen, but it was systematic in ARVN forces.

The V200

The development was assumed by the Marine and Land Division of the Textron company. It was an elongated V-100 (in the middle section), partly based on U.S. Army’s 5 ton trucks components. It was built solely for export for the needs of the Singaporean army, or Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). They were modernized by ST Kinetics in the early 2000s and are still in service. Today singapore has 250 of these in service, plus 30 V-100 and 50 V-150.

The V150

This vehicle was based partly on the V-100, and the V-200. This hybrid was shorter but stronger and couldaccommodatee much heavier turrets and armaments, and could be equipped with diesel or gasoline engines. Built for export, it was equipped with a large variety of armament configurations, including 12.7 mm and 20 mm armed turrets. Portugal had its V-150s modernized in the 1970s as the Chaimite, with a 90 mm Cockerill gun turret, known as the V-400 variant.

2,968 LAV-150 vehicles were produced. The list of operators includes Bolivia (10), Bostwana (36), Cameroon (43), CHAD (9), Dom. Republic (8), Gabon (9), Guatemala (7), Haiti (6), Indonesia (200), Jamaica (13), Kuwait (20), Malaysia (184), Mexico (28), Philippines (165), Qatar (8), Saudi Arabia (1100), Singapore (280), Somalia (10), Sudan (100), Taiwan (300), Thailand (162), Turkey (125), USA (10), Venezuela (130), Vietnam (5).

Other variants

The LAV-300 is a 6×6 version, partly based on the V-150.
The LAV-600 is developed from the LAV-300 with much heavier weapons, the most common being the 105 mm.
By 2013 Textron unveiled the Commando Select 90 mm Direct Fire, a new model aimed at export-market, armed with a CMI Defence Cockerill CSE 90LP weapons system and asked to perform a large range of misssions from conventional combat to counter-insurgency operations.

Active service

The characteristic sloped hull of the CGC quckly earned the nicname “duck” or “the V” in Vietnam, which was its first active assignation. CGCs were massively deployed there, as available, for patrolling the DMZs and acting as military police vehicle, guarding AFBs (Air Force vehicles), and for other tasks. These were hard-pressed, especially at the time of the Têt offensive in 1969 when Viet-Minh commandos attacked several key points in Saigon and many other important cities. ARVN forces also actively used their vehicles after US troops disengaged from Viet-Nam in 1972-73.

Many were captured by the NVA. After Vietnam, these vehicles saw limited use, and were affected to specific areas, like the Herlong Army Depot in California, and spent as targets. Other armies held their vehicles in service for longer periods, especially the Philippines. Many are still in operations. Outside these regular armies (Royal Thai Army, Republic of China Military Police, the Philippine Army, Marine Corps & Special Police Action Force, the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Army of Venezuela and the Jamaican Defence Force.), these vehicles has been used by many other operators for crowd control and anti-riot operations. SWAT teams also used some, as well as the LAPD. Later in 1991 gulf war, Saudi Arabia’s guards V-150S took part in the battle of Khafji against Iraki forces.

M46 links & resources

The CGC M706 on Wikipedia
On Global security
About the V-150

CGC M706 V100 specs

Dimensions (L-w-H) 18ft 7in x 7ft 5in x 8ft 4in in (5.69 x 2.26 x 2.54 m)
Total weight, battle ready 9.8 tons (21 800 lbs)
Crew 3+2 (Commander/radio, Driver, Assistant driver, Gunner, loader)
Propulsion V-504 V8 turbocharged diesel engine, 202 bhp, ptw ratio 18.75 bhp/ton
Maximum speed 60 mph (100 km/h) road, 3 mph water
Suspensions Independant, 4×4
Maximal range 400 miles (643 km)
Armament Main: twin M37 Browning cal.30 (0.3 in) MGs. See notes
Armor 0.25 in (6.35 mm)
Production (V100) estimated 5000
CGC M706
CGC M706 “Blindfaith” of the Military Police in Vietnam.

CGC M706
Another Commando of the MP in Vietnam, late 1960s.

M706 V100 Vietnam The Unexpected
Cadillac Gage Commando M706 V100 “The Unexpected”, Military Police, Vietnam, 1968-71.

CGC M706
Camouflaged CGC M706 V-100 of the US Army, Viet-Nam late 1960s.

CGC M706 Air Force
Patrol M706 V150 of the US Air Force at U-Tapao AFB, Vietnam 1971.

M706 V-150
V150 of the Philippine Marines, late 1970s.

M706 V-150
V150S PMRF-PMC upgraded with a rear-mounted cal.50. Philippine Marines (urban camo), 1980s.

V-150 20mm
Textron LAV-150 with 20 mm turret for export.

V-150 90mm
Textron LAV-150 with 90 mm turret.

CGC M706 gallery

Portuguese V-150

120mm Gun Tank M103
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14 Responses to Cadillac Gage Commando M706

  1. Guillermo Soto says:

    Is a very good work.

  2. SP4 Tom says:

    We used those old V 100’s to guard nuclear weapons in the 1970’s. They were the old ones with dates around 1963 64. They were ok when the weather was nice but like refrigerators in the winter. Hard starting, loving to flood out and having a heater core the size of a sedan meant you froze. You either sat there and froze with the engine off like a cold sink or ran the engine. Running the engine was worse as the engines air intake was inside. It just sucked out the air inside while pulling new freezing air in via all the poor seals around the hatches. The driver and commander really got it as it sucked in right over your head (buttoned up) at high velocity. It would literally burn your face and head. It didn’t take long to notice that they were designed exclusively for SE Asia and warm climates.
    When it came to movement as long as you could start them they would sure scoot. About the fastest I ever got to in one was around 60 MPH. As a passenger it got a bit floaty and nerve wracking wondering how long it would roll if the thing flipped. There wasn’t too many places it wouldn’t go though with all that massive ground clearance. The guys who ran them in Nam said that they would deflect a .50 most of the time, apparently they liked them over there as opposed to the 113 APC.
    We ran ours fully loaded out nearly all the time as Special Weapons escort. SOP was to keep the machine guns M219’s (IIRC) loaded when doing this . The turret wasn’t powered except to fire the guns via a button on the elevation lever you leaned on . Traversing was done via a small crank that worked quite well. You soon learned as gunner not to go looking around inside the turret too much when in motion. Somebody was always getting hit by the gunners cage when revolving it and it was easy to whack the commander or driver in the head with a gun barrel. It was best to keep the turret stationary when moving.
    You sure could tear up some serious real estate with those twin 219’s. They seemed to jam a lot but when working right they would really rock and roll.

  3. wellis says:

    I apologize for saying this here but your Humvee article link doesn’t work. It just redirects you back to the Cold War USA page when you try to click on it.

    • Hi Wellis,
      Indeed, that’s a provisional link, the article is not done yet.
      Big one, a year and more in the making as you can imagine.
      We rarely release a “beta” of an article for that matter.

      • wellis says:

        Okay phew. I was afraid that it was already finished but that for some reason I wasn’t able to access it.

  4. JOHN HAYDEN says:

    Was assigned to 2nd Plt of 188th in Vinh Long in 1969. We wound up with two V100 cast offs from the units north towards Saigon. They were welcomed additions from the beat up gun jeeps but gave you a little more feeling of authority and security. Used to run north towards My Tho with two extra men that would be dropped at the My Thuan ferry crossing, they sat security until the highway patrol returned in the afternoon. The V100 was big, impressive but cantankerous, always popping the rear axels, too light for the torque of 1st gear, we used to replace them with 2 and 1/2 tons axles. I remember the mechanic working under a rube goldberg jack system that lifted the body off the axel so we could replace the gaskets, scary stuff thinking about it now…Remember one lug nut was always set the other way when changing the tire, cracked too many sockets standing on a breaker bar attempting to crack that last lug loose. God, where did the time go??Too many patrols in the rear radio hatch with the M60 pulling the lanyard attached to the whip antennae whenever going under a gate, stood there and learned to roll and bounce with the roadway while standing in the hatch.

  5. Paul B. says:

    Will you create a page for the M1117 Guardian ASV?

  6. charlie brown says:

    why not put something on strykers up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Stan Lucian says:

      Because we don’t have the manpower to cover everything. We’ll cover it as well at some point!

  7. charlie brown says:

    why don’t you guys ever put a fail section on tanks that had failed.

    • Willkerrs says:

      You’re right, this is fitting here.
      The ‘failed tanks’ theme was released long after this article’s publication, but we add new features to articles as we overhaul them. I’ll make a note of this one.

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