The Philippines placed an order in 1993 for 24 LAV-300 MK IIs, 12 in APC configuration and 12 in FSV configuration, which were delivered by 1995.
The Philippines has a modest defense budget, but its marines are not weak. The LAV-300, originally known as the V-300, is an American 6×6 light armored vehicle developed in the late 1970s, but interestingly, the US military did not use this vehicle, but exported it to other countries, including the Philippines. The Philippines placed an order in 1993 for 24 LAV-300 MK IIs, 12 in APC configuration and 12 in FSV configuration, which were delivered by 1995.
According to reports, currently the Philippine Marines are operating 23 V-300s, 1 FSV was destroyed in combat. LAV-300s used by the Philippine Marine Corps were designed to be equipped with the 7.62mm NATO turret for the APC and the Cockerill 90mm gun for the FSV. The LAV-300 is designed based on the experience gained from the LAV-150 4×4 wheeled armored vehicle. In 1981, the LAV-300 entered the competition to become a light armored vehicle for the US Marines, unfortunately the MOWAG Piranha version produced by General Motors won.
The hull of the LAV-300 is of all-welded unitised construction of special high-hardness steel ballistic plate that protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. If required, a higher level of passive armour protection is available for the LAV-300 series. According to the company, the special high-hardness steel ballistic plate will defeat multiple hits of 7.62 mm ball ammunition all round and 7.62 mm armour piercing through a frontal arc of 60°.
The driver sits at the front of the hull on the left side and has a single-piece square hatch cover that opens to the rear. To the rear of the driver is seated another member of the crew who is provided with a single-piece hatch cover, although he can also enter his position via the rear troop compartment. To his left is a small half door that opens to the rear, which is provided with a vision block and a firing port. The LAV-300 has a seating capacity for three crewmembers, consisting of a driver, commander and gunner, and nine passengers.
The 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 a C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. Some versions can be air-transported by CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. The LAV-300 is amphibious with no need for preparation for fording.
In 1993, the Philippine military ordered 24 LAV-300 Mk II which is the latest generation. The APC version is equipped with M2 12.7mm and M60 7.62mm machine guns, while the fire support version is equipped with 90mm Cockerill Mk III guns and 7.62mm machine guns. These vehicles were delivered to the Philippine Marines in 1995.
Since 2003, some APC versions with the 12.7mm machine gun have been replaced by a 40mm ST Kinetics grenade launcher purchased from Singapore, with a modified turret of course. Obviously, compared to other Southeast Asian countries with AAV-7 or BMP-3F, or BTR-60, Philippine armor is both small in number and weak in technical features. The LAV-300 is probably only effective when dealing with small conflicts or Muslim rebels.