Thai company Panus Assembly has completed the manufacture of two R600 8×8 wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APCs) for the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC). The initial pair was ordered with a budget of $2.77 million. Panus tested its newest product R600 prototype at the RTMC at Royal Thai Army’s Vehicle Test Range in Kanchanaburi province in August 2019. The performance of the 25t R600 has been tested, with the main trial being swimming at sea. It can attain a waterborne speed of 12km/h, close to that of AAV7A1s already in service with the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC). The R600s met the standards of the RTMC, though Panus will make further improvements based on feedback from the RTMC. It is now gearing up for expanded production in 2023.
Panus R600 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 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 APC can accommodate 2 crew members and 20 soldiers. The 8-wheel steering vehicle can drive either in 8×4 or 8×8. It can climb a 60cm vertical obstacle and negotiates a 40% slope and a 60% grade ramp.
The armoured personnel carrier can accommodate 2 crew members and 20 people. The protection level is Stanag 4569 LV.2, or Lv.3 in option. The 30mm turret is manufactured by the Turkish company ASELSAN. The protection level is Stanag 4569 LV.2, or Lv.3 in option. The top speed on-road is 110 km/h, 14 km/h on water. R600 is designed to be multi-role combat that can be adapted to meet the individual requirements of the army, navy, and air force. Thailand will acquire new 8×8 armored vehicles for its naval infantry units. Two vehicles are competitors for this acquisition including the Panus Assembly R600 and the Black Widow Spider (BWS).
Panus began life as a builder of trailer bodies made out of timber. As well as being the market leader in its field within its domestic market of Thailand, Panus has also expanded its geographic presencein recent times as it pursues its goal of becoming a leading international provider of efficient transportation and logistics solutions. From a local perspective, Panus’ clients range from major 3PL or international fleet operators, large and medium sized fleets down to single-owner operators.