The Humvee is one of the coolest military surplus vehicles being used today. I was able to see one up close, including the inside, at the Oshkosh 2010 air show this year. Read about other military stuff from Oshkosh 2010 here.
The technical term for the Humvee is the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV. It was designed to replace regular trucks (Jeeps) in the 1970s due to rigorous terrain encountered by US troops. It’s interesting to note that Lamborghini developed an off-road vehicle during this time for the military, but it was the Humvee that was adopted.
The Humvee is made by American General, which was a subsidiary of American Motors. The Humvee saw its first action in active duty in the 1980s.
This versatile vehicle is designed for transportation of soldiers, supplies, and other military surplus in and near the battlefield. Anyone who gets the chance to look or go inside one of these vehicles is often surprised about how much room there is.
There are numerous variations of the Humvee, including models outfitted for emergency medical purposes and combat. Weapons used with Humvees include TOW missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and automatic firearms. The combat versions are also built with specialized armor for protection on the frontlines.
Several other countries besides the US now use the Humvee due to its durability and ruggedness. The civilian version of the Humvee is the Hummer, which was sold by General Motors and is now no longer being produced.
Since the Humvee can be modified for so many different purposes, it doesn’t appear that it will be replaced anytime soon. However, one big weakness of the Humvee is its vulnerability to and lack of protection from mines and other explosives. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected class of vehicles is expected to replace the Humvees in these instances.
It’s too bad the Humvee isn’t a readily-available military surplus vehicle for civilian purchase, although a few have found their way into civilian hands. The next best option is to get a Hummer.
Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.