Set Condition 1 has some info on the contenders: Bushmaster meets the competition in the US
Airborne Combat Engineer notes The Army is looking at off-the-shelf vehicles and asks Why not buy an interim replacement for the Humvee?
Joe Katzman: Hummer Deathtraps Suck: Take 2
UPDATE: I knew I’d seen another good post on the Humvee problem just recently. In an update to his post, Joe K points out Washington Park Prophet’s, um, The Humvee Problem.
For the record, Murdoc isn’t necessarily down on the Humvee. But Murdoc’s down on the fact that our military seems to be reacting in slow motion to this problem.
Yes, the military is a massive bureaucratic juggernaut that’s about as easy to turn as a loaded supertanker and I realize that it can’t just replace the Humvee overnight. But it almost seems like the decision-makers are waiting it out, hoping that Iraq settles down soon enough to head off a major course change. This, of course, doesn’t seem terribly likely to happen in the first place, and it ignores the fact that we’d then be facing our next military challenge with the same Achilles heel. Not to mention the number of lives and limbs lost between now and then.
Similar to my position on Marines in Iraq using the lightly-armored Amtrac, I recognize that just up and switching vehicles because of a particular shortcoming in a particular environment isn’t generally wise. But this environment is here to stay, as is the shortcoming, so it makes sense to make a few adjustments.
No light vehicle is ever going to be bomb-proof. Some of these IEDs blow tanks to pieces. But a vehicle better-suited to the environment would do wonders for the cause.
Do not forget that every potential enemy is eating the Humvee’s performance up. Potential terrorist/insurgent/jihadists are stockpiling IED material as we speak. Just as the US military is increasing the number of special forces operators and snipers, insurgent groups around the world are upping the number of bomb-makers in their ranks, hoping (waiting) for a chance to blow a passing Humvee loaded with infidels to smithereens. You know it’s true.