The military's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), better known to most of us as the Humvee, has already served a long and distinguished career in the battlefield, and there have been a number of replacements waiting in the wings to take over where the HMMWV left off. Or, should we say, leaves off... assuming that ever happens.

It seems that the Humvee is set to get a new lease on life as military budget constraints are forcing the government to reconsider its replacement. But there are still some pesky safety issues to work out before American soldiers will feel comfortable inside the confines of the off-road box on wheels.

As you're likely aware, improvised explosive devices are an ever-increasing threat to the lives of American troops serving overseas. The Humvee, which traces its design all the way back to the year 1984 when it first saw duty as a replacement for the long-running series of military Jeeps, has seen a number of incarnations over the years that added armor and improved safety, but the latest version may feature something hitherto unseen: a chimney.

No, not a chimney like the one that peeks out of your house. This chimney, along with a V-shaped hull, serves to channel explosive forces up and away from the occupants inside. The structure of the chimney also serves to reinforce the vehicle, connecting its floor with its roof. Other advancements include a new set of doors that open up like barn doors, seats designed to absorb shocks and a sling that promises to lower the gunner into the vehicle in the event of a blast.

Read more about the vehicle here, and be sure to scroll down for the illustration.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      DarwinianReject
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Speak softly and carry a big stick." - Theodore Roosevelt Yes, bring the troops home, but we a need a big stick in case we ever need it again.
      FriskyDingo
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is rather interesting. Not sure if that platform is capable of supporting too much more modification. The ones that have been in service are no match for the IEDs in widespread use in the Middle East theatre. They tear them up as if they were made from tin foil. At some point you have to realize that investing money into something that may not work is worse than just spending more to do it right. Some things are a lost cause.
        jtav2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @FriskyDingo
        Yea. Sad to see more soldiers will be put in harms way because of budget restraints. While I'm sure it will be an improvement, as you said these things don't stand up as well as some of the new options out there that were designed from the ground up to handle those types of blasts.
          Shane Gardner
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          The fact of the matter is the American public will piss, moan and complain about the life's of an American soldier and all the risks they take in their line of duty while pretending to give two ***** about them all in the name of calling it quits on the battlefield so they can all come home safely. The fact of the matter is that it is highly unlikely and completely impractical for that to happen. But the next logical step would be sweeping support for better gear and better equipment for the military. However that would cost tax payer money. Money these same people would rather send to government programs like welfare and what not instead.
      tributetodrive
      • 3 Years Ago
      When will they realize star wars imperial walkers are what is needed.
      Pete K
      • 3 Years Ago
      How's about we just bring a boys home and end this waste of taxpayer dollars...
      gary
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the situation calls for an armored personnel carrier, why don't we put our troops armored personnel carriers? The "HM" in HMMWV stands for "High Mobility". It was designed for rapid deployment and "quick strike" operations. It was never intended to provide protection against ballistics or explosives. We've spent the last decade trying to "fix" it by turning it into something it was never meant to be in the first place. Now we have a vehicle which is no longer capable of doing what it was originally designed to do, yet isn't particularly good as an APC either.
        Shane Gardner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gary
        APC's suck in dense urban areas, practically to the point of being useless.
      budwsr25
      • 3 Years Ago
      The humvee was the best non human investment the military has ever made.
      z28ssx
      • 3 Years Ago
      The solution is to stop putting soldiers in harms way. I know it sucks, but in war people die.
      Buckets81
      • 3 Years Ago
      The HMMVW was actually a replacement for the M151, not the Jeep. The M151 replaced the M38 A1 in the early 1960s. Although it looked pretty Jeepish, it was very different (independent suspension all around and no two speed transfer case) and was really more like the HMMVW than the Jeeps it replaced.
        JamesJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Buckets81
        They also used Chevy trucks during the 80s. In fact, you can still find them on some military bases.
      JamesJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      I posted here earlier, but it seems like it didn't go through. I actually read about the blast chimney over a year ago and was trying to find any more information about it. I have found some better information on it yesterday (I wish I could actually post a direct link). http://www.hmmwvinscale.com/hmmwvprototypes.htm I have read in other sources that they might be on the field by January.
      ThatWilsonGuy
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is ALL about money. With the current capabilities and tactics being used against American forces, the LAST vehicle you want to be in is a HMMWV. It has become an absolute glut with excessive amounts armor that is easily defeated by grenades smaller than a coffee can. That is if you do not roll over or break down due to the platform being pushed beyond its limits
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      This idea was suggested by Popular Mechanics. It's described in one of their latest issues.
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