While the HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) also known as the Humvee or civilian variant H1 hummer, it is a four wheel drive military vehicle produced by the company AM General from 1984 – to the present each costing $220,000 (armored up) the HMMWV should be allowed for civilian use on or off roads.
In 1979, the US Army wanted a fixed specification HMMWV to replace all one – one fourth ton Jeeps. The Army wanted a vehicle that was excellent on and off roads, carry heavy equipment, and increase the ability to survive against indirect fire. With the HMMWV compared to the jeep, it had a higher ground clearance and could drive up a 60 degree slope and drive sideways of 40 degrees slope. With the requirement to tread through water, an air intake was mounter above the front right fender (with ability for a snorkel attachment), with the radiator needing to be put on the front hinged hood. With sixty one companies with interest in it only three had given prototypes, AM General being one. In 1981 the Army gave (awarded) AM General a contract with seven more prototypes, with that the M998 A0 series was manufactured with curb weight of 5,200 lbs. payload of 2,500 lbs., a 6.2L V-8 diesel engine with a three speed automatic transmission.
The HMMWV’s saw its first combat mission in the invasion of Panama in 1989. The M998 HMMWV, was designed for personnel and light cargo transport behind enemy lines. Like the Jeeps that were produced before it, it had no armor nor stood against NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) although it could not stand against them, the loss of life was low on conventional ops such as gulf war unlike the Battle of Mogadishu where it was a urban environment involving CQB (close quarters battle), the chassis durability did allow the crew to return to safety though it was never designed to withstand light arms nor even RPG’s not HMGs, with the rise of Asymmetric warfare and low intensity conflicts the HMMWV was put into urban settings for which it was not intended.
In December 2004, SOD Donald Rumsfeld came under heavy criticism from the troops and families that used the HMMWV of not bettering the equipment of the HMMWV. Which brought the choice of modification / Armor kits (which were only produced in small numbers). With the manufacture of armor kits though not as fast as factories were capable, advanced kits were still being developed, while effective they weighed from 1,000 lbs. to 2,500 lbs. while having the drawbacks of improvised armor. The HMMWV can be equipped with a FRAG 6 armor plating to stop EFP’s (explosively formed penetrators) and IED’s (improvised explosive device) all the way down to no doors, roof, windows, or back cover protecting the occupant from small arms fire.
In December of 2014, the DOD began auctioning a large amount of used military HMMWV’s ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 to civilians, some have been transferred to law enforcement agencies, this being the first time the government has approved this vehicle for resale but for off road use only other than scrap them saving money and repurposing them. AM General opposes this for the reason that surplus vehicles would cut into the civilian hummer model which ended in 2010.