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The Military Humvee Is More Than Just a Hot Rod

Military Humvee

Many of the United States military vehicles that are used to haul gear, serve as field ambulances, or act as a mobile command post are Humvees. Civilians are allowed to own these vehicles in some states, but must jump through the proper hoops to make them road-ready.

The HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or colloquially called the Humvee) began life in 1979 as an Army request for proposals to replace aging Jeeps. AM General, Chrysler Defense, and Teledyne Continental responded with prototypes. For more information, click the link https://www.streetlegalexports.com/ provided to proceed.


The military Humvee started life as a hot-rodded Jeep. But as the US became embroiled in unconventional warfare, it needed something bigger and more rugged to carry its troops across rough terrain. This prompted the Department of Defense (DoD) to mandate that private companies develop vehicles specifically for this type of warfare.

In 1979, AM General began preparing prototypes for their M998 Series High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or Humvee. These trucks were designed to replace the M151 Jeep and other light tactical vehicles. They were used in the 1989 invasion of Panama and the 1991 Gulf War, where they proved to be reliable and versatile. They rumbled through deserts, swamps, and mountains with ease and inspired numerous civilian adaptations.

To protect service members patrolling cities like Ramadi and Fallujah, the military began to retrofit Humvees with armor. But this added weight reduced fuel efficiency and accelerated wear on the engine, transmission, and drivetrain, leading to a rash of mechanical failures. Bolting in steel plates also made the Humvees slow, clumsy, and more likely to rollover.

After the Gulf War, the Humvee was used in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where it was more vulnerable to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). This led the DoD to start looking for a replacement for this vital piece of equipment.

The Humvee is now being replaced by newer vehicles such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and the MRAP. But this does not mean that the Humvee is going away for good. The Humvee will continue to be a mainstay of the US military as long as there are conflicts in places that require these powerful vehicles to get soldiers from point A to point B safely and quickly.


During Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Humvee became the backbone of military operations. It was used in a variety of roles, from troop transport to armament carrier and missile launcher. However, the basic HMMWV was not designed to offer protection against hostile fire, including small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and mines. This was done in order to maintain the high level of road and cross country mobility that the vehicle is known for.

This left the vehicles extremely vulnerable to attack, which resulted in a large number of soldier casualties. To improve the situation, the Army began to develop and field a series of bolt-on armor kits for Humvees. These improved the vehicle’s ballistic and explosive protection levels. Despite the fact that the up-armored Humvees are now more lethal against roadside bombs, they are still vulnerable to the more lethal EFP weapons that have caused 70 percent of US deaths in Iraq.

The first of these was developed by Battelle in Aberdeen, Maryland and is known as the Armor Survivability Kit or ASK. The kit includes an armored hull, armored doors and windows, and seatback protectors. It is installed on the M998 HMMWV.

The Army is also working on more permanent solutions to the vulnerability of the Humvee. It is developing a new type of armor that will be lighter and more flexible, which should reduce the damage that the explosively formed projectiles cause. It is expected to be ready for use in the next couple of years. In the meantime, many units have improvised near-term solutions that add some level of protection to the vehicle. Some of these include ad-hoc in-the-field armoring, sandbags and steel plates, which can protect the crew against small arms fire.

Fuel efficiency

The US military is currently trying to figure out a way to make the Humvee more efficient. The first step is to improve the vehicle’s suspension, which will reduce its weight and fuel consumption. It will also be easier to drive off-road. Another key factor is to use new brakes that will prevent wear and tear. The current ones are made of metal and rubber and will wear out quickly. The new brakes will be much lighter and more durable, and they’ll also be able to handle the temperature extremes of the desert.

The Humvee is an all-terrain vehicle that can traverse a wide range of environments. It can be driven off-road or on paved roads. It has a top speed of 70mph and can haul cargo or equipment. Its low center of gravity makes it difficult for enemy vehicles to target.

While the military has tried to keep the cost of the Humvee as low as possible, it has not cut corners when it comes to safety features. It has a large glass windshield and side windows to help reduce the risk of insurgents attacking the vehicle. The Humvee’s unique design also protects the driver from gunfire, shrapnel, and small-arms fire.

Although the Humvee has become synonymous with macho excess, its initial design was purely practical. The HMMWV was designed to be a jack-of-all-trades and replace several different outmoded tactical vehicles, including the jeep and the 2-ton M274 Mule and the six-wheel-drive 1-ton M561 Gama Goat. It is also a multi-service vehicle that meets the needs of the Army, Marines, and Air Force.

Off-road capabilities

The military humvee is more than just a hot-rodded Jeep. These trucks were created to haul equipment over the harshest terrain. They’ve conquered mud, sand, rocks, snow and ice. The funny-looking 4×4 has evaded detection in the desert and pulled trailers down highways. It’s even been dangled from the back of CH-53 helicopters and taken to the seas in Marine Expeditionary Units. As threats have changed, so too has the Humvee.

The independent front and rear suspension, advanced shock absorbers and torque-biasing differentials allowed the Humvee to get traction on terrain that would stop most four-wheel-drive vehicles in their tracks. An aluminum body also kept the vehicle’s weight down and reduced corrosion risk. The brakes were built into the axel rather than on the frame, which protected them from damage and improved gas mileage.

Since its debut, the Humvee has been adapted to serve as ambulances, troop transports and even pseudo-tanks. Its versatility led to a series of civilian versions, including the Hummer. These vehicles have the same armor and capabilities as their military counterparts, but they’re equipped with an independent rear axle for added ground clearance and off-road capability.

In 2006, AM General began the development of reliability extended Humvees, which feature several upgrades to improve the vehicle’s longevity and off-road performance. The improvements include a new cool pack and shroud, re-engineered geared hub assembly, parking brakes and a redesigned A-arm bushing. The upgrade ensures that the Humvee can keep moving even after years of abuse.

While many people are able to buy a Humvee and use it for off-roading, most can’t drive it on public roads in most states. However, it is possible to make your HMMWV street legal with the right modifications. These modifications are not cheap, but they can be well worth the investment. For example, Corbeau suspension seats can be installed and you can even install five-point harnesses from RJS for safety.


The military humvee is designed for off-road driving, so it’s capable of moving over rocks and other obstacles. It can also drive underwater, which makes it a useful vehicle in harsh environments. It has a fully waterproof engine and can operate under water for extended periods of time.

A recent study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy found that soldiers who work as operators or gunners in HMMWVs are at higher risk for injury than those who don’t. The researchers speculate that this is because the Humvee’s high center of gravity makes it prone to rollover accidents. The study was published in the August issue of Military Medicine.

During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Army added armor to the Humvees to protect against roadside bombs. This improved their safety, but it made them heavier and more prone to rolling over. The Army is now looking for ways to reduce the number of Humvee rollovers, and it has started testing new safety features.

One of the most promising is a kit that includes anti-lock brake systems with electronic stability control. It’s available through defense contractor AM General. Congressman Norcross and his Democratic colleagues have lobbied for appropriators to fund this safety kit in the fiscal 2022 omnibus bill.

The military is in the process of replacing the aging Humvee with new vehicles that are better suited for modern warfare. The interim solution is the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle, while the long term replacement is the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Both vehicles have been optimized to survive the types of attacks that have been used in recent years. The MRAP’s V-shaped armor hull deflects explosions up and away from the vehicle, while the JLTV is built from the ground up to withstand these kinds of threats.