Tech - News
How The Humvee Became The Most Legendary Military Truck Of All Time
By ALEX HEVESY
Within the last 30 years, the Humvee has made an almost incalculable impact on warfare, pop culture, and the automotive industry. From Operation Desert Storm to Ukraine, the Humvee has been used in nearly every world conflict since 1989, appeared in movies and video games, and spawned an entire line of SUVs. How did the Humvee attain such iconic status?
After the Vietnam war, the Pentagon needed to replace its aging fleet of Jeeps and commissioned a $1 billion contract with American Motors General (via MotorTrend). The military wanted a vehicle that could do it all: ford streams, climb heavy terrain, transport soldiers and supplies, and serve as a weapons platform for offensive combat operations.
The M998 HMMWV was the result, but soldiers gave it the "Humvee" moniker we know today. It saw limited combat during the United States' invasion of Panama in 1989 but kicked the training wheels off against Saddam Hussein in Operation Desert Storm when it was used as a platform for the TOW anti-tank missile, the Browning M2 heavy machine gun, and M240 belt-fed machine gun.
When the War on Terror came around, and the United States' invasion of Iraq was in full swing, the Humvee was unprepared for the asymmetrical warfare it experienced. Hummers excelled in combat against conventional armies, but not on the cramped streets of Baghdad and Fallujah where they were a prime target for improvised explosives and ambushes by opposing forces.
Eventually, armored variants of the Humvee showed up on the battlefield. The Humvee was built to be modular and easy to modify, which allowed heavily armored variants to serve in front-line combat, and lighter versions operated as ambulances and troop transports. The Humvee became legendary because it could perform wherever and however the operator needed it.