Logistics: HMMWV Being Replaced

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August 27, 2007: The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has accelerated plans to replace the 190,000 humvees (HMMWV, or high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles) produced since 1984. These vehicles have an average lifetime of 14 years under peacetime conditions. Historical experience has shown that vehicles wear out faster during wartime (more from wear and tear because of more aggressive use, rather than because of combat damage). In the case humvee, they are wearing out after five years in a combat zone. So the humvee will be phased out 5-10 years earlier than planned. A replacement vehicle is being planned, and prototypes of competing designs will start showing up next year. The new vehicle will enter service in about five years, with the final design being selected, and entering testing in a year or two.

The new vehicle will be more bomb resistant, but will not come standard with armor. That's because, even now, most humvees do not operate anywhere near hostile action, and don't need any armor at all. In fact, for these vehicles, armor is a liability. It burns more fuel and accelerates wear and tear because of the extra weight on the suspension. But the new vehicle will come with attachments and compartments so that armor kits can be quickly installed, and uninstalled.

The new vehicle will take advantages of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the latest developments in automotive technology. Thus the new vehicle will be easier to use and maintain.

 


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