Military light utility vehicle
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A military light utility vehicle is a small, jeep-like four-wheel drive vehicle designed for military use. They are usually short and relatively light compared to other trucks and cars, are unarmored and have short body overhangs for all-terrain mobility and at least 4 passenger capacity.
The importance of this class of military vehicle was summed up by General Dwight Eisenhower who said that the four most important US weapons in World War II were the C-47 Skytrain, the bazooka, the jeep, and the atom bomb, and similar vehicles are among the most common military vehicles in armies of most nations.
The Willys MB Jeep of World War II used by the U.S. Army is perhaps the most widely known vehicle of this class. Over 640,000 Jeeps were built for World War II, and they inspired many vehicles similar in layout, or function. The M38A1 Jeep was used in the Korean War. It was followed by the Vietnam-era M151 MUTT, which was designed by Ford. By the mid-1980s, this role would be taken over by the larger Humvee, which would be used as a combat vehicle in Iraq. The United States also purchased Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicles based on commercially available light trucks. U.S. forces are currently defining the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle which would be designed to be armored from the outset, with the smallest 4-person payload capacity class corresponding to the traditional jeep role.
In World War II, Germany used the Volkswagen Kübelwagen for a similar role. It had two-wheel drive, but took advantage of light weight and a rear-mounted engine for mobility. American dune buggies were also based on the Volkswagen, and the Desert Storm-era Desert Patrol Vehicle evolved from the dune buggy configuration for combat use.
The Volkswagen Schwimmwagen incorporated a boat-like body and propulsion screw. The Jeep was similarly adapted as the Ford GPA "Seep", but was never as successful as the Schwimmwagen which became the most mass-produced amphibious car in history, and arguably the most capable light military wheeled off-roader in World War II.
In 1948, the British Land Rover was developed. Originally intended to be a civilian and agricultural successor to the Willys Jeep (the prototype Land Rover was built on the chassis of a Willys and used Willys transmission parts but production vehicles used no Jeep components) the Land Rover was brought into military service in 1949, becoming the standard Light Utility Vehicle for the British Army and many armed forces of the Commonwealth. The original Land Rover design evolved into the modern-day Land Rover Defender which is still in military service throughout the world.
In the 1960s, China's Beijing Automobile Works produced its own "jeep", the Beijing BJ212 which was largely a Chinese copy of the Soviet UAZ-469B. Often called the “Beijing Jeep”, the BJ121 was widely used in both military and civilian service in China, with over 200,000 produced by end of production in 1983. In May 1983, American Motors Corporation (AMC) agreed to allow the updated BJ2020S to use the 85hp engine of the XJ Jeep Cherokee. The latest Chinese light utility will be the BJ2022JC 'Brave Warrior', built by Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler Automobile Co. Adapted from existing Mercedes Benz designs, the BJ2022JC will carry 0.7 ton[vague], with a wheelbase of 110 inches, and has an independent suspension system with a 101.5 kW 3.2 L turbo-charged inter-cooling diesel engine.
The HMMWV layout is larger and wider than the original jeep, and inspired another generation of similar vehicles.
- GAZ-2975 "Tigr" - Russian Military HMMWV currently in service
- Toyota built a vehicle largely derived from the HMMWV design with a similar design and layout called the Mega Cruiser. Toyota produced a military version of the Mega Cruiser, named the Koukidousya, that is in service with the Japan Self Defense Forces.
- Iveco LMV
- China produces three vehicles based on HMMWV with varying degrees of cooperation with the original manufacturer.
- Uro of Spain builds the VAMTAC.
- Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau of the Ukraine builds the Dozor-A.
- MOWAG Eagle
- Marine Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MMPV) by Philippine Marine Corps