Thailand to acquire local-made R600 new 8x8 amphibious armored vehicles

According to information published by the Defense Studies website on September 3, 2021, Thailand will acquire new 8x8 armored vehicles for its naval infantry units. Two vehicles are competitors for this acquisition including the R600 8x8 manufactured by the Thai company Panus Assembly Co.,Ltd. and the Black Widow Spider (BWS) 8x8 designed by Preecha Thavorn Industry.
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The R600 is a new generation of 8x8 amphibious armored vehicle designed and manufactured by the Thai company Panus Assembly Co.,LTD. (Picture source Panus)

According to Taiwanese sources, the R600 manufactured by Panus Assembly Co.,Ltd will be the winner of the competition.

As reported by Army Recognition on November 20, 2019, during Defense and Security Thailand exhibition, Somsak Nonpoe, Government Project Director, told the particularly interesting story of the 4x4 HMV-20 vehicle that led to the development of the R600. Initially, Panus delivered two units of an MRAP vehicle to a Thai Marine unit in the south of the country.

TheR 600 weighs 25 tons, is 8.4 meters long, 3.2 meters wide, 2.75 meters high. The ground clearance is 500 mm. The Cummins engine develops 600 hp and is coupled to an Allison 4500 6-speed automatic transmission. The power to ratio rate is 24hp/t. The 8-wheel steering vehicle can drive either in 8x4 or 8x8.

It can climb a 60cm vertical obstacle and negotiates a 40% slope and a 60% grade ramp. The vehicle can reach a top road speed of 110 km/h. The vehicle is fully amphibious and is propelled in the water at a maximum of 14 km/h thanks to two water jets mounted at the rear of the hull. It has a maximum cruising range of 800 km. The IFV can accommodate 2 crew members and 20 soldiers. The protection level is Stanag 4569 LV.2, or Lv.3 in option.

Panus tested its newest product R600 8x8 wheeled Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) prototype at the Royal Thai Marine Corps, Royal Thai Navy at Royal Thai Army's Vehicle Test Range in Kanchanaburi province in August 2019.