UPDATE: Avengers modified for ground combat

Turning Avenger into a Gun Truck

Strategy Page has an article on the modified Avenger anti-aircraft Humvees mentioned previously on MO. In short:

In two days, the engineers removed the right missile pod, and moved the machine-gun up to where the pod was. Some changes were made in the fire control software. All this allowed the machine-gun to fire in any direction, at any elevation. The ammo capacity of the machine-gun was also increased from 250 rounds to 600 rounds. The missiles were removed from the other pod. The two man crew of the Avenger was now ready to use their FLIR and laser range finder to provide accurate long range .50 caliber machine-gun fire day or night. The Avengers were expected to be particularly useful at night. [emphasis mine]

Note that they removed the missiles from the other pod. I hadn’t seen that, and I don’t know why they had to. Maybe to remove a potentially explosive target?

Why, then, wasn’t a second machine gun mounted? Maybe to allow quick rearmament with anti-air missiles should the need arise? A commenter on my original post noted that the left pod couldn’t be modified or removed without major work, in part because the sighting gear is in there.

Something I mentioned was the possibility of replacing the four Stinger missiles in the pod with AT4-type missiles. The M136 AT4 is slight larger than a Stinger, so it might be a physical impossibility in any event. Another reader suggested a ground-launched version of the Hellfire, but that missile is even bigger. I was looking for a quick and easy modification that would give a little heavier punch to the Avenger in this role.

If it’s going to take factory modifications, we’re probably better off with something purpose-built. This Avenger modification is an example of in-the-field ingenuity, and I’ll be looking for news on its performance.


  1. My concern would be that the turret be adequately armored, I’ve seen these before, and they didn’t look terribly protected. I could be wrong, I’d just like to be sure.

  2. That’s a good point, Chad. I read somewhere that the cab is armored, but I think that meant the Humvee cab, not the gunner’s position.

  3. How about wild speculation: If it is a true retasking for low-level conflict type stuff, maybe the left pod is being kept open for something like a Metal Storm based anti-RPG/Mortar device. I’m guessing that the required sensors are already in place or could be dropped in, given it’s previous anti-air role.

  4. FORGET THE AVENGER. BRING BACK THE M-42 ‘DUSTER’! The driver and radio operator are seated at the front of the vehicle with the other four crew members in the turret, which is in the center of the hull. The engine and transmission are in the rear. The M42 has torsion-bar suspension consisting of five dual rubber-tired road wheels with the idler at the front and the drive sprocket at the rear, and three track-return rollers. The first, second and fifth road wheel stations have a hydraulic shock absorber. The steel tracks have replaceable rubber pads. ARMANENT The main armament consists of twin 40 mm cannon mounted in an open-topped turret. These have hydraulic elevation from -3 degrees to +85 degrees, and traverse through a full 360 degrees. Manual controls are also provided, and with these the guns can be depressed a further 2 degrees. Each barrel has a cyclic rate of fire of 120 rounds per minute. Maximum anti-aircraft range is 5,000 meters and maximum ground-to-ground range is 9,475 meters.

  5. The address listed about has some basic details of the ground launched Hellfire. While the hellfire is indeed heavier then the stinger missile, the weight variation makes little difference to the avenger system. The only issue (Mechanically) would be to recalibrate the stabilization system, Actually upgrading the Avenger with Hellfire, makes tactical sense. 1. For the last 50 years or so US has not itself in a conflict where it did not enjoy air superiority. As a result, it is arguable to say that that the US has not made a serious attempt at creating an fully iintigrating anti-air systems into its order of battle. 2. It is also clear that the army needs a vehicle with all terrain capability, functionally adaptable and if necessary, be able to fight above its weight class. So now we are living in a era, where it is painfully obvious, that the US needs general use vehicle that can operate in the role of hunter/killer or in a moments notce, inflict non-leathal damage effects. A hellfire / stinger Avenger system has significant merits. What most people do not reaize is that the Hellfire is a multi-role missile. With a set of designer warhead, that can fullfill most any task with the propor allocation of by a The key issue being the sensor package. The Long Bow milimeter wave radar, makes the Hellfire into a suprisingly good air to air missile, as the hellfire warhead, is much more powerfull then your standard low altitude anti-air missiles. The latest generation of Hellfires can be reprogramed to fullfill multiple roles, and its electronics package is mostly self contained, and has been and still is, very adaptable. In a hellfire /stinger configuration, the avenger would use the stingers as the primary anti air weapon. (although you can program the stingers to perform a ground attack function) The stingers 3kg warhead, would only be effective vs unarmored targets. The hellfires would be primarily used against armored targets, or against bunkers and buildings with its thermobaric warhead. Now a few years ago, lockheed came up with a hellfire armed hummer. The system relied on two or sometimes three vehicals. The primary hummer was the shooter. It was minimally crewed as the bulk of the weapon and ammo filled the crew space. The secondary: Hummer, was the eyes of the operation. This hummer contained various sensors that were used locate, identify, and prioritize targets. The third hummur carrier the ammunitiion and other personal effects The basic Hummer is equiped with a Hellfire rack would most likely use laser guided missiles as laser designation Laser guided munitions as it is unlikely that the hummer will be able to locate targets at ranges fo Now, back to your idea about mounting Javilins or AT4 rockets. The Javilin was never designed to be multi-shot pod based weapon. Moreover its sensor, fire control is not compatable with the Avenger. It should be noted that the avenger as it currently exists is obsolete, and its FLIR unreliable, and can jepordizelifes compared poor functionality when compared to modern night vision gear. Modifing a hummer to fire multiple javilin(s)launches and ir sensor maintenc. AT4 is a relatively simple weapon use. However in the environment of a pod based weapon, the AT4 would not be my choice. I would rather go with a 36 barrel, 40 mm metalstorm launcher or with a hydra 2.75 rocket launcher.

  6. First, in order to fit anything else in the stinger bay, the elctronics and optical package, designed for an AA role would have to be changed. The gun can always be depressed, set to zero lead and used as a direct fire ground weapon. A more interesting platform, wich IS returning to service with 4th ID is the VULCAN AA gun. Its currently sitting in one fo the division motor pools.

  7. IIRC Starstreak, the UKs hypervelocity AAM, is very effective against armored targets because of its 3 kinetic penetrators. Its shorter than Stinger I believe.