High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle ( ) the HMMWV (pronounced hum-vee) is the primary vehicle of the US Army, the IDF and other organizations. It was originally manufactured by the US company AM General (the company was acquired by General Motors Group in 1999). The HMMWV replaced various vehicles such as the M151 Jeep and a number of light trucks used by the US Army. The vehicle was orignially referred to as the Hummer but later after a civilian vehicle based on the military version became popular, the name also became a brand. However, in the IDF and Israel in general, it is customary to refer to the HMMWV as Hummer (NB: האמר pronounciation is closer to 'hammer'. In the USA, Hummer refers to the civilian version and Humvee to the military version.) without regard to whether it is the military or civilian version.
In August 2015, the US Army announced that it was removing the Humvee from service and purchasing the new Oshkosh light truck after they had won the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Project.
- The HMMWV used by the IDF
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In 1979, the US Army issued a requirement to develop a multi-purpose, light military truck. In July 1979, AM General of Indiana, owned by the Jewish millionaire Ira Rennert, began developing the vehicle, and in 1980 the first prototype was built. In 1981 the US Army signed a preliminary contract for the purchase of 55,000 vehicles to be delivered by 1985. The first baptism of fire for the vehicle was the US invasion of Panama. The HMMWV became famous in the First Gulf War.
More advanced models of the HMMWV have been produced in smaller quantities since 1996, and are equipped with additional defenses such as bullet-proof tinted glass, a more powerful engine and air conditioning.
The Hummer is used for dozens of tasks including: transporting soldiers and cargo, evacuating the wounded (an ambulance, that in the IDF is called the Hammer-bulance), as a courier, mounting heavy machine guns, towing artillery and launching missiles (anti-tank and anti-aircraft). The Hummer was originally designed as a reconnaissance vehicle and was not designed to enter into a direct firefight with enemy forces.
The US Army has had bad experiences with the HMMWV in both low-intensity combat scenarios and fighting in built-up areas. In Operation Irene in Mogadishu (1992), the Hummers proved to be very vulnerable to the machine gun and RPG fire of the militants. In addition, the Hummers were not powerful enough to break through the barricades and checkpoints that the militias had setup throught the city. Then in the Iraq War in 2003, large numbers of soldiers were wounded or killed while in the vehicle. There was much criticism of the lack of adequate protection on the Hummer and delays in providing additional protection to the forces stationed in Iraq.
The HMMWV used by the IDF
The Hummer is the most common light truck in the IDF and is used in a variety of configurations:
- Hummer Petuach/Open - a fast jeep designed for patrol
- Hummer Galit - a closed cabin and two large roll bars
- Hummer Orev - fitted with anti-tank missiles
- Hummer Rakon/Stalker - fitted with an observation system
- Hummer S'gor/Closed - designed to carry troops, freight and other purposes
- Hummer Manaliti/Administrative - closed cabin and a back area covered with fabric
- Hummer memogan/Protected - based on a closed Hummer
- Hummer /Hum-bulance - Hummer adapted to serve as an ambulance
- Hummer Pikod/Command - includes elevated seats and is intended to serve as a Division HQ
- Hummer Meaopsh/Disguised - plastic cover and MILES system to make it appear as a tank, APC or D-9 bulldozer and used in tactical training
- Hummer Ach'tzaka/Maintenance - maintenance and recovery of tools in the field, used by the Ordnance Corps
- Hummer Barkan/Thorn - fully equipped Hummer armed with Stinger missiles as a mobile anti-aircraft unit
- Length: 4.6 m
- Width: 2.1 m
- Height: 1.8 m
- Ground Clearance: 40 cm
- Weight: 2.3 tonnes open 4.5 tonnes protected
- Engine: 6 1/5 liter diesel engine
- Maximum Speed: 88.5 kph
- Driving Range: 500 km
- Crew: 2-9
Field exercise with parachutists - from the site "Roads" Manufacturer Website Roi Zuckerman, a war hero, Ynet website, March 23, 2003