The HMV-150 is a local Thai 4x4 Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) development of the Vietnam-era (1955-1975) Cadillac Gage "Commando" (V-100) Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). The new vehicle has been largely modified to suit Royal Thai Army requirements for a versatile, low-cost machine capable of accomplishing various battlefield roles - APC, Command & Control (CC2), base security, communications, light reconnaissance, anti-riot and-the-like. The design underwent extensive testing for several months with Royal Thai Army input. A further evolved form is the HMV-420P unveiled in November of 2018.
The original Commando vehicle saw production reach 3,200 and operators appeared all over the globe. The line was introduced in 1964 and saw extensive service with American forces in the Vietnam Conflict where it proved its worth to foreign buyers. About 150 V-150 vehicles make up the modern Royal Thai Army fleet. These were modernized by the concern of Panus Assembly Ltd to produce the local "HMV-150" designation (HMV = "High Mobility Vehicle") powered by a Cummins ISL 350 horsepower engine mated to an Allison 4500 series six-speed gearbox. The HMV-150 was introduced in 2017.
This four-wheeled armored vehicle, with its lineage traced back to the American V-100, now forms the basis for the all-modern "HMV-420" which was unveiled in September 2018. The newer product sports better protection and more internal space for its occupants and installed weapons while being powered by a Cummins diesel unit of 420 horsepower output (Allison 4500 gearbox). Armor protection is up to small arms fire and artillery spray but mobility is at the heart of such designs. Attention has also been given to enhanced protection against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and land mines common to urban fighting. Armor reaches up to 16mm at crucial facings through a double-layer steel configuration.
Two or three personnel make up the fighting crew with room for combat-ready troops. The driver sits at front-left with the engine fitted at rear-left. The entire hull superstructure is a complete Thai rewrite of the original Cadillac Gage offering with stout, angled sides retained for basic ballistics protection and all windows being thick and bullet resistant. Entry-exit is through hinged side hull doors just ahead of the rear axle and the design retains the rear door entry-exit point. Firing ports are positioned along the sides of the hull to allow occupants to engage outside enemy elements from within the protected confines of the truck.
In November of 2018 Panus Assembly Ld unveiled its latest HMV-420 offering - the HMV-420P "Mosquito" AFV. The new design represents an up-armored form sporting larger road wheels that result in greater height but better clearance. The hull roof can be home to an optional Remote Weapon Station (RWS) and this emplacement can be outfitted with machine guns (up to 12.7mm), grenade launchers, and Anti-Tank Guided-Missiles (ATGMs) as needed. 6 x Smoke grenade dischargers provide a self-screening capability (three installed at either turret side). Drive power is from a Cummins diesel and this gives the truck a road speed of up to 110 kmh. All four roadwheels are steerable in the HMV-420P.
Specifications of the new mark include a weight of 16 tons, an overall length of 6.72 meters, a width of 2.85 meters, and a height nearing 3 meters.