The Military Humvee Designs

The Military Humvee is a tough-looking vehicle that’s perfect for taking on the toughest of tasks. They can haul heavy loads and navigate off-road terrain with ease. They also have advanced safety features to keep their occupants safe in any situation.

The military first started auctioning off surplus Humvees in 2014, through IronPlanet, one of the largest auction organizations in the U.S. However, before a Humvee can be sold to the public, it must undergo demilitarization, which strips it of all weapons and armor. Click the Military Humvee For Sale to learn more.

The Humvee has a long history of service with the United States Armed Forces, and it’s become an icon for many Americans. It’s no wonder that Hollywood’s ultimate tough guy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a fan. In fact, he was inspired by a convoy of military Humvees he saw while filming Kindergarten Cop in Oregon. This made him so enamored with the vehicle that he called the manufacturer, AM General, to express his desire for Humvees to be available to the general public.

It’s a Workhorse

For over 40 years, the military Humvee has served the United States and its allies as a workhorse. It’s taken to the skies in CH-53 helicopters, hauled trailers down the highway, dangled off the back of transport aircraft and crawled across deserts and jungles with service members in tow.

This jack-of-all-trades light tactical vehicle was originally conceived as a way to unify the army’s fleet of M561 Gama Goats and M151 Jeeps into one standardized model. The US Army’s requirements demanded a vehicle that could traverse a 60 percent incline, climb a 40 percent slope and ford 2.5 feet of water without a snorkel.

The HMMWV’s versatility, however, created some major vulnerabilities. For instance, the flat underbelly of a Humvee riding low to the ground became a sitting duck for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which caused many casualties and injuries among troops. As such, the HMMWV was usurped in favor of the more advanced MRAP, which is designed to withstand IED attacks and ambushes.

It’s a Rescue Vehicle

A Humvee is more than a way to transport people from point A to B. These military vehicles are also used for search and rescue missions. They can get through mud, sand, rocks, and snow to find people in need of help.

The Humvee has gone on many adventures since it was first introduced. It was the Army’s main transport vehicle during the Gulf War, Operation Just Cause in Panama, and the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. The funny-looking truck conquered sand, mud, and rocks, evaded detection on the desert, and jumped entire continents in transport aircraft.

But the Humvee has one flaw that kept causing service members to die in combat: Roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Pentagon solved the problem by adding bolt-on armor, but it made the vehicles too heavy and less maneuverable. To overcome this problem, some soldiers removed the doors and armor to increase speed and their field of vision.

It’s a Security Vehicle

With its stout frame and off-road capabilities, the Humvee has been called a “go-anywhere, do-anything military truck.” It’s conquered mud, sand, rocks, snow and ice. It’s jumped from planes in the 82nd and 101st Airborne, hauled trailers down highways and sat inside the belly of transport aircraft.

The military’s need to patrol dangerous back-country areas led to the creation of up-armored Humvees. But even with all of that added protection, the soft-skinned vehicle was still vulnerable to roadside bombs.

AM General has tried to solve the issue by adding more armor. But that has added weight to the vehicle, which reduces speed and limits maneuverability. Plus, the Humvee is still seven feet wide, so it can’t get into a lot of places that the Jeep it replaced could.

It’s a Transport Vehicle

HMMWV stands for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, and the vehicle can be configured in a multitude of ways depending on military needs. There are 15 variations that allow the Army to carry different payloads (troops, cargo, weapons) or use it as a shelter carrier, communications car or ambulance.

The Army has always been slow to change, and that may be why it’s still using Humvees as a primary tactical vehicle after over forty years of combat. It’s a big vehicle, and it can be overloaded with guns, turrets, missiles, and other equipment.

But it’s not as fast as you would expect for a vehicle with this sort of purpose. It’s large and heavy, so it moves slowly down the highway. Driving one can be a bit monotonous, but the experience is much different than driving your average sedan or SUV. The HMMWV can even be made street legal, although each state has its own rules and regulations about this.

It’s a Utility Vehicle

The military Humvee isn’t the newest, fastest, or flashiest piece of warfighting equipment. But it is the cheapest, most practical.

Back in the 1980s, the Army had a problem. It had a lot of old, outmoded vehicles that it had to rely on. It needed a jack-of-all-trades vehicle that could replace a wide range of 1/4-ton trucks like the M151 Jeep, the M561 Gama Goat and other light tactical vehicles.

Enter the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV, from AM General. It was a versatile modernisation of the jeep trucks, with a single chassis that could be configured into 15 different variants.

The HMMWV proved to be a great success, and it was used by the military in many different roles worldwide. But the truck wasn’t designed for combat in urban areas, and during the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, Task Force Ranger Humvees were battered by small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and landmines.

It’s a Communication Vehicle

HMMWVs, also known as Humvees, are a staple of the military. Although the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) are better at many things, the military is hanging on to a fleet of Humvees as an insurance policy.

The part of your ears not covered in Kevlar is ringing from the clanking, belching engine that drives these vehicles. Four-point safety belts buckled around your waist and shoulders make a clattering noise, while canvas-covered seat frames rattle with each turn.

Soldiers with the New York Army National Guard’s 369th Sustainment Brigade train on Humvees at Camp Smith during an inactive duty training weekend in April 2024. The brigade’s motor pool has about 50 Humvees, from the uparmored variety that can hold soldiers and equipment to the basic model that can’t. Soldiers undergo Humvee training, including preventive maintenance checks and services, which are detailed in a technical manual, to make sure their Humvees are “fully mission capable” at all times.

It’s a Command Vehicle

The Humvee (more formally known as the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or HMMWV) is one of the most important and versatile military vehicles in the world. The four-wheel drive trucks, which can be used for a variety of purposes by all branches of the US Military, largely replaced older light utility vehicles like the original jeep and the Vietnam-era 1/4-short-ton MUTT.

The 15 different variants of the Humvee allow the Army to use it as a troop transport vehicle, armored command and control vehicle or even a ambulance. Some look nearly identical to others, but all use the same frame, suspension and powertrain geometry.

The military is now in the final stages of a replacement program for the HMMWV, which is called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle or JLTV. Three companies are competing for the contract to build the new vehicles: Lockheed Martin, Oshkosh Defense and AM General, the manufacturer of the Humvee.

It’s a Medical Vehicle

In early operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, soldiers like Scharre would try to make their Humvees as light as possible by removing doors and unnecessary armor. This made them more manoeuvrable, but also less able to withstand the IEDs and car bombs that were becoming commonplace in the region.

The Humvee was a huge success, and the military began to use them in a wide range of missions around the world. They were particularly effective in the desert, where they could traverse a variety of terrain with ease.

HMMWVs are air transportable, with three able to be carried in a C-130 Hercules and 15 in a C-5A Galaxy. They’re also able to be slung-loaded from helicopters, so they can be dropped right into combat zones. The military is currently working on both short- and long-term replacements for the Humvee, with interim vehicles known as MRAPs and a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle that’s being designed from the ground up.