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Humvee could soon be an Army relic

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Smashy, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Smashy

    Smashy

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    Feb 12, 2010 (5:33a CST)
    By CARLY EVERSON (Associated Press Writer)

    INDIANAPOLIS - Army Staff Sgt. Tom Davis never saw the bomb that destroyed his Humvee as he rounded a corner in Ramadi just a week into his second tour in Iraq in 2006. Davis lost a leg and broke his back and both arms and can no longer walk or work. He'll never know whether he would have been less severely injured if he'd been in a different vehicle.

    [​IMG]

    But his experience, and those of thousands of other Americans wounded in bomb-shredded Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, foretold what now appears to be the official demise of the hulking all-terrain vehicles that came to symbolize the military as much as the rugged Jeeps they replaced.

    The Army provided no new money for the Humvee in the service's recent budget proposal. Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, an Army spokesman, says the 2,620 vehicles ordered from Mishawaka, Ind.-based AM General will be the last as the Army moves on to newer designs.

    Unless the decision is reversed, the Humvee will end a remarkable 30-year run that extended beyond the battlefield into popular culture.

    The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, dubbed the Humvee by soldiers, got its start when the Army began looking to replace the latest version of the Jeep in the late 1970s.

    AM General won a prototype contract in 1981 and the company, a spinoff of Jeep, created the boxy vehicle that was more than seven feet wide and made up in utility for what it lacked in aesthetics. Since 1985, AM General has produced 240,000 Humvees.

    The vehicle attracted attention during the 1991 Gulf War, but not just in the war zone. Then-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger became so enamored that he persuaded AM General to make a civilian version, and it became a must-have status symbol for car lovers until rising gas prices and the recession sent sales plummeting.

    "Everybody points at a Hummer," said Eric Sitterle of Cincinnati, who serves on the board of Hummer Club Inc., the vehicle's fan club. The group organizes off-road events all over the country. "It's the most exciting thing you've ever been on - at three miles per hour."

    Few would use the word "exciting" to describe the military Hummer.

    It was developed as a light utility vehicle and not intended as an armored car, said James Atwater, assistant curator at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum in Fort Eustis, Va.

    The lumbering, low-riding vehicles became an easy target for insurgents, who attacked U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with increasingly powerful improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, hidden along roadsides.

    A mounting death toll from IEDs - more than 1,700 in Iraq alone as of January 2010 - sparked calls for better protection for soldiers. The Army ordered armored versions of the Humvee, but "there were shortcomings when you added armor to a vehicle like this that's not designed from the ground up for that," said Atwater.

    Davis, of Angola, Ind., said the Humvees were fine during his first deployment in 2003. "We rode in the back of the open Humvee at night because the IEDs weren't a real threat," he said.

    But that began to change. The powerful IED that detonated under the passenger seat of his Humvee in 2006 hurled the vehicle two stories into the air, killing the vehicle's gunner and badly injuring Davis.

    "Maybe if I'd been in a Bradley, I wouldn't have been hurt as much," said Davis, 32, a father of four.

    Cummings, the Army spokesman, said the Army is moving to the larger and more heavily armored Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs.

    The Army budget released last week still includes $989 million for maintaining the existing Humvee fleet. And Atwater said he thinks the Army will still use Humvees for missions on which it is impractical to drive a massive MRAP, which has huge tires more often seen on trucks in demolition derbies.

    AM General, the sole manufacturer of the Humvee, says it is talking with the Army and hopes to maintains vehicle production into 2011. Congressional representatives including Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly, who represents the area, have pledged to try to maintain a military role for the Humvee. The Army purchases more than half the Humvees AM General produces, but the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy also buy some.

    AM General also makes the Humvee's civilian counterpart, the H2 Hummer, as a contract assembler for General Motors. Hummer sales peaked at 71,524 in 2006 but dropped to 9,046 in 2009. GM plans to sell the brand to a Chinese company.


    http://kai03.qwest.com/WindowsLive/...&id=D9DQJOQ00@news.ap.org&client=gadget&qid=0
     
  2. Squaw Man Wolfer

    Squaw Man Wolfer

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    I don't think the Humvee was ever intended to be an armored vehicle that could survive big IEDs and .50 cal. snipers. The Army will still need a military cab to get around.
     

  3. zackwatt

    zackwatt That's a Bingo! Lifetime Member

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  4. mike253

    mike253 NRA - IWLA

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    The only thing that is a tank, is a tank.

    Nothing that will provide a comparable replacement for the Hummer will do any better against bombs/snipers/etc., than it does.
     
  5. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

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    It annoys me to no end that the Humvee is attacked for not being what it was never intended to be.
     
  6. dahahn

    dahahn

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    I happen to know personally that should you be in an MRAP, you're in good hands.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  7. zackwatt

    zackwatt That's a Bingo! Lifetime Member

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    Exactly.
     
  8. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    :agree:
     
  9. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

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    Yup the HMMVW was not really designed to have a cluster of 155mm shells go off underneath it.
     
  10. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

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    I personally know someone severaly injured while riding in a humvee when an IED went off. I haven't talked to him much about it, but from what I gather, the humvee came out ok (able to drive out). What got him was he was in the gun hatch and when it went off the humvee went up on two wheels to one side and when it came back down the hatch door slammed into his back. The only thing that kept him from getting injured worse was that it his the bottom edge of his body armour which took some of the impact. I hate it for him because he did intel with plans of working with the CIA when he got out. Now he's in and out of a wheelchair, but has been improving, though its been a few years now.
     
  11. walt cowan

    walt cowan

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    good post!
     
  12. tank mechanic

    tank mechanic

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    Yes the humvee was never designed with the role it is serving in Iraq. The added weight of thousands of pounds of armor takes a toll on the whole vehicle and they require constant maintenance, especially the suspension system and drive train. Early versions of the doors were pop riveted and the added weight of the armor was constantly messing up the hinges and the lock work to open them. Also, I have replaced more brake pads on humvees than I could ever count.

    I have watched some very large IED explosions explode under humvees in front of me and and watched my friends walk away from them. While the vehicle was destroyed the soldiers survived. I have also seen the wreckage of humvees where the occupants were not so lucky.

    The military needs a vehicle that does not start it's life as a utility truck that turned into an armored vehicle. I think the MRAPS are a step in the right direction, even though they are huge and they have their own limitations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  13. Squaw Man Wolfer

    Squaw Man Wolfer

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    I think they need at least two vehicles. One is a light armored vehicle for recon/tow/stinger teams, whatever, the other is a light utility vehicle, like a jeep, but doesn't flip so easy.

    Not all depolyments will be in the sand, and you still need a light ute for chow, mail, beer runs.
     
  14. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    It's the same old story.

    Bring out a light weight pistol caliber rifle, the M1 Carbine, to supplement the 45 pistol, then complain about it when the Carbine isn't equal to the M1 Garand.

    The Humvee is a little truck, it was never meant to be an armored fighting vehicle and it's asking for trouble trying to use it that way.

    They use to mount 50 cal MG and recoilless rifles on Jeeps, but that didn't make them tanks.
     
  15. 1811guy

    1811guy Formerly1811guy2

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    Yet it is a testament to how tough they are that that can happen and the occupants inside survive. Absolutely amazing.
     
  16. Tvov

    Tvov

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    I've never read or heard anyone complaining that the classic Jeep "did not have enough armor"... The Jeep did exactly what it was supposed to do - cheaply transport a few guys and maybe tow an equipment trailer. They were not armored, never meant to be, and did not provide any protection in a battle. But everyone loved them!

    I kinda think that because the basic Humvee looks armored, everyone assumes it can go places and do things it was never designed for. The Humvee doesn't help its own case when it actually does many of those never-designed-for things very well.

    Hard to believe the Humvee has been around for 30 years... The various vehicles they are looking at to replace it are all interesting.
     
  17. eagle359

    eagle359 Glock Fanboi

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    Even the best hammer does not make a good screwdriver.
     
  18. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    I thought the Hummer was being replaced by the Stryker or am I thinking of something else?? Possibly too many video games being played by me!
     
  19. DEADLYACCURATE

    DEADLYACCURATE Senior Member

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    :goodpost:
     
  20. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    In other news...the Army wants to replace the M1A1 Main Battle Tank with a smaller, lighter, cheaper, vehicle that gets better gas miliage, is street legal, can carry 4 troops and light equipment and tow small utility trailers.

    Early design proposals look promising....
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010