High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)
A U.S.Army HMMWV
Type Unarmored: Light Utility Vehicle Armored: Light Armored Vehicle Place of origin United States of America Service history In service1984–present Production history Manufacturer AM General Unit cost Unarmored: $65,000 Armored: $140,000Produced1984–presentSpecificationsWeight5,200–5,900 lb (2,359–2,676 kg) curb weightLength15 ft (4.57 m),wheelbase 10 ft 10 in (3.30 m)Width7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)Height6 ft (1.83 m), reducible to 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Main armament see text
)Speed 55 mph (89 km/h) at max gross weight Over 70 mph (113 km/h) top speed.The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), commonly known as the Humvee, is a four-wheel drive military automobile produced by AM General It has largely supplanted the roles formerly served by smaller jeeps such as the M151 1⁄4-short-ton (230 kg) MUTT, the M561 “Gama Goat”, their M718A1 and M792 ambulance versions, the CUCV, and other light trucks. Primarily used by the United States Military, it is also used by numerous other countries and organizations and even in civilian adaptations. The Humvee’s widespread use in the Persian Gulf War helped inspire the civilian Hummer automotive marque.
Optional equipment includes a winch (maximum load capacity 6,000 lb (2,700 kg)) and supplemental armor. The M1025/M1026 and M1043/M1044 armament carriers provide mounting and firing capabilities for the M134 Minigun, the Mk 19 grenade launcher, the M2 heavy machine gun, the M240G/B machine gun and M249 LMG. The M1114 “up-armored” HMMWV, introduced in 2004, also features a similar weapons mount. In addition, some M1114 and M1116 up-armored and M1117 Armored Security Vehicle models feature a Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS), which allows the gunner to operate from inside the vehicle, and/or the Boomerang anti-sniper detection system. Recent improvements have also led to the development of the M1151 model, which is quickly rendering the previous models obsolete. By replacing the M1114, M1116, and earlier armored HMMWV types with a single model, the U.S. Army hopes to lower maintenance costs.
In the 1970s, the United States Military concluded that the militarized civilian trucks in use no longer satisfied their requirements. In 1977, Lamborghini developed the Cheetah model in an attempt to meet the Army contract specifications. In 1979, the Army drafted final specifications for a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV. In July of that year,AM General began preliminary design work, and less than a year later, the first prototype was in testing.
In June 1981, the Army awarded AM General a contract for development of several more prototype vehicles to be delivered to the U.S. government for another series of tests, and the company was later awarded the initial production contract for 55,000 HMMWVs to be delivered in 1985. Ft. Lewis Washington and the 9th Infantry Division was the testing unit to employ HMMWV in the new concept of a Motorized Division to counter the Russian Motorized units. Yakima Training Center; Yakima, Washington was the main testing grounds of the HMMWVs from 1985 through December 1991, when the motorized concept was abandoned and the Division inactivated. HMMWVs first saw combat in Operation Just Cause, the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989.
The HMMWV has become the vehicular backbone of U.S. forces around the world. Over 10,000 were employed by coalition forces during the Iraq War.
Usage in combat
The HMMWV was designed primarily for personnel and light cargo transport behind front lines, not as a front line fighting vehicle. Like the previous Jeep, the basic HMMWV has no armor or protection against chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threats. Nevertheless, losses were relatively low in conventional operations, such as the Gulf War. Vehicles and crews suffered considerable damage and losses during the Battle of Mogadishu due to the nature of the urban engagement; however, the chassis survivability allowed the majority of those crews to return to safety, though the HMMWV was never designed to offer protection against intense small arms fire, much less machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. However, with the rise of asymmetric warfare and low intensity conflicts, the HMMWV has been pressed into service in urban combat roles for which it was not originally intended.
After Somalia, the military recognized a need for a more protected HMMWV and AM General developed the M1114, an armored HMMWV to withstand small arms fire. The M1114 has been in limited production since 1996, seeing limited use in the Balkans before deployment to the Middle East. This design is superior to the M998 with a larger, more powerful turbocharged engine, air conditioning, and a strengthened suspension system. More importantly, it boasts a fully armored passenger area protected by hardened steel and bullet-resistant glass. With the increase in direct attacks and guerrilla warfare in Iraq, AM General has diverted the majority of its manufacturing power to producing these vehicles.