Over the years, military vehicles have changed dramatically. The days of having a Deuce and a Half Jeep with no upper armor, no doors, no windows, and no windshields are gone. The new vehicles are bigger, stronger, and yes, faster. I have seen the Army vehicles go from Humvee’s with plastic doors to Humvee’s with 600 pounds of armored doors and bullet-proof windshields. Anyone can tell you that the 88M today versus 20 years ago is much harder to steer and has many more mechanical problems due to the heavy weight of the vehicle. This increases the amount of time it takes to train a soldier how to drive them.
The good thing is that the vehicles made today are automatics, which allows them to be driven by many different licensed personnel. The biggest setback with the newer military vehicles is rollovers. In the last few years of OIF, there were more deaths caused by rollovers than by enemy attacks. The military has gone as far as creating a simulator that teaches each crew member what to do in case of a rollover. The easiest way to survive a rollover is to prevent it form happening. The military vehicles today will roll at about 30 degrees. Therefore, each crew member should always be watching to prevent this from happening. The new military vehicles are made to drive faster, carry more, and withstand more.
The Humvee pretty much took the Willys Jeep’s place many years ago. The Humvee started out with plastic or no doors. Then once OIF started and the IED began to wound and kill American service members, the need for bulletproof doors and glass became even more relevant. In some cases, in the early days of OIF, soldiers were making their own doors to save lives. The Humvee proved its worth in convoy ops and other missions in OIF because now the Humvee has doors that can withstand an RPG and IED blast. But it is still no match for the EFP. The other issue with the Humvee is also rollovers, just like with the 88M.
The MRAP family replaced the Humvee in early 2004. There have been many MRAPs in service, such as the Cougar, MATV, Maxpro, and Maxpro Dash. These are just a few. There are many more. The great thing about these vehicles is that the AC actually works. They can carry more people, and they’re far safer than any Humvee ever was. The capabilities of a MATV, Maxpro, and Maxpro Dash make them more ready for combat. The most important thing about these vehicles is that they do not roll over at the same angles of a Humvee. The other thing is that they sit up higher than a Humvee. The MRAP provides all crew members that ride along with a lot of safety. There isn’t much that can penetrate these vehicles. The Army and Department of Defense developed the new vehicles with one thing in mind and that is safety. And they certainly are safer!