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Examining The Versatility Of The Humvee

The HMMWV—or Humvee as it’s known to everyone outside the military conquered foreign battlefields and suburban soccer fields alike. But this iconic light military vehicle is reaching a crossroads.

The Army wants to replace its Humvees with something new. But it’s going to be a difficult task. This will require a new, versatile vehicle that does everything the old Humvees did and more. You can check out the companies that offer Custom Humvee in your area.



The Humvee is a no-frills, workhorse truck with serious power. It has a high ground clearance to keep the undercarriage from scraping or getting stuck on obstacles. Its independent front and rear suspension, hydraulic shock absorbers, and torque-biasing differentials allow it to get traction on terrain that would stop most four-wheel drive vehicles in their tracks. The aluminum body allows it to flex on rough terrain, and the wheels are placed near the differentials to keep them out of harm’s way from roadside bombs or rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

The military was looking for something better than the jeep for off-road support vehicles. They wanted a vehicle with a payload of 2,500 pounds, a useful automatic transmission, and enough power to drive over rough terrain at highway speeds. They also required protection against 16-grain fragments, shrapnel, and small arms fire. The military humvee was designed to meet these demands by replacing the existing vehicles they use.

The result was the Humvee, or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, which went into production in 1983. It has conquered mud, sand, rocks, snow, and desert and carried cargo and troops across the world. It’s been dangled from the belly of CH-53 helicopters, dragged by towboats on the seas, and jumped continents in transport aircraft.

Even though the Army is replacing the Humvee with its lighter, more versatile Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, it’s positioning itself to still be able to send thousands of older trucks to American allies and partners around the world. These are likely to be modified into everything from police patrol vehicles to ambulances to surveillance vehicles equipped with electro-optical sensors on an extendable mast.


When the Army steamrolled a country’s defenses in 1991 and 2003, the Humvee was in its element. The Big Bruiser crushed miles of desert with ease and even had a killer soundtrack to go along with it. But once the ruckus ended, the Humvee faced a new challenge: paved city streets. While the jeep was built for agility, it could not withstand roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades.

To counter this, the Army needed a vehicle that could adapt to the changing battlescape. So, they issued a request for design proposals. Three prominent military equipment manufacturers responded.

The company’s team designed the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, better known as the Humvee. The basic chassis is convertible to a weapons carrier, utility vehicle, and field ambulance. The Army can then add armored cabs, communications equipment, and a host of other amenities to meet the specific needs of different troops on the battlefield.

What makes the Humvee unique is its portal axles that raise the entire drivetrain off of the ground. This allows the Humvee to ride higher than any other truck without becoming too tall. This enables it to carry a payload of up to 2,500 pounds and also accommodate machine gun turrets and low-altitude air defense systems.

The company team also included a system that lets the Army customize the front of the vehicle. This includes the driver’s seat, which can be adjusted to provide the best driving position for each person. The cab’s roof height can be altered, as well. The suspension is specially engineered to deliver a soft ride with light loads and a stiffer, more stable one when carrying heavy gear.


During the Gulf War, the military Humvee (the official name is HMMWV, High-Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle) became extremely popular. Since then, it’s become a staple of military operations globally and in the country. You may even see one on the street as it has also been adapted for civilian use by the company HMMWV.

Originally, the Humvee was designed for open terrain and off-road missions. It was able to speed over desert dunes, climb mountains, and traverse rocky, icy roads. However, when they were deployed in urban combat situations, they proved to be sitting ducks for insurgent attacks. The aluminum body and frame weren’t built to protect soldiers from ballistics or explosives. As a result, they were vulnerable to both IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades. Up-armored Humvees solved this problem but did not provide enough protection for frontline soldiers.

Unfortunately, the up-armored Humvees can’t withstand the kind of roadside bombs that you’ll find in many regions around the world. The reason is that the truck is still built like a civilian car with its cabin, engine, and other components attached to a metal frame. As a result, the shock from an explosion under the Humvee transmits directly to the passengers inside. This is unlike the JLTV and other vehicles that are built from the inside out to shield passengers from explosions.

The Army is now replacing the Humvee with the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle or JLTV. The JLTV has 15 configurations including cargo transporters, communications vehicles, and ambulances. Moreover, its design is simpler than the current Humvee with 44 interchangeable parts used in more than one position. This is expected to reduce maintenance and supply costs.

Support Vehicle

The Humvee has been used for more than just open-terrain military transport. Its design has enabled it to be modified for a variety of support missions, such as delivering medical supplies or carrying light cargo. The truck has also been outfitted as an ambulance, detection unit, missile platform, and even a mobile howitzer. In its current form, the Humvee has a long and successful battle record in its intended role, although it has now taken a back seat to new developments like the MRAP and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

While the Humvee excelled at its initial role as a generalist military workhorse, it struggled when put into urban combat situations in the Gulf War and the War on Terror. The Humvee had no real ballistic protection, and its aluminum frame made it an easy target for IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades. It was a familiar sight on the streets of Mogadishu, and a number of the vehicles were destroyed by machine gun fire and landmines.

Today, the Humvee continues to be a reliable support vehicle around the world. The vehicle is used as an ambulance, weapons carrier, or to transport medical supplies. It can be equipped with additional armaments and systems, such as a lightly armored hull or air defenses. Moreover, the chassis can be fitted with an electric powertrain to enable it to run on alternative fuels, such as natural gas.

As the demand for an off-road capable vehicle grows, it’s no wonder that military HMMWVs have become increasingly popular with civilians. These trucks can be outfitted with armor kits to protect passengers, and many people are choosing to modify their Humvees for more comfort and speed. They can also add a range of accessories to make them more suitable for off-road driving. Some even have their engines modified to allow them to drive underwater!

Combat Vehicle

HMMWV, or Humvee, is an acronym for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, but the military loves to pronounce it as “hum-vy.” Many different versions of the truck do different jobs, from ambulances to cargo and troop carriers. But all of them have a lot in common under the hood: They share an engine, transmission, and chassis. They have 44 interchangeable parts, which makes them easy for mechanics to work on in the field.

The truck’s size and stance are perfect for hauling loads and navigating rough terrain. But what sets it apart from other vehicles in the Army is its versatility and combat capabilities. It can carry a 2,500-pound payload and carries four times as much armor as a jeep. It can also mount a mix of weapons, from machine guns and grenade launchers to the wire-command guided TOW antitank missiles that are normally air-launched from helicopter gunships.

Some versions of the Humvee can even be equipped with a boomerang anti-sniper system that shoots lasers to identify enemy snipers. The HMMWV’s relatively light frame and suspension have allowed it to handle all of this gear. But all this added weight and strain takes its toll, and some versions of the vehicle have needed to be up-armored.

For the most part, though, the Humvee has been a stalwart of the Army’s wheeled fleet. And despite losing out to the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) for the top job of the front-line combat vehicle, the old HMMWV is still the best choice for all-purpose use behind the front lines. It is the ultimate in no-frills practicality. And for that, we owe our soldiers a huge debt of gratitude.