Lightweight Vehicles


New member
SE Aurora, CO
The US started out with the original Jeep in 1941 and part of its requirements was that it had to be small and transportable in a C47 Dakota. Since then requirements have changed and it got bigger in the ‘50s. Then it got much bigger with the HMMWV.

Didn’t we lose something? It seem it’s a lot like the US car industry where a car model creeps up in size until it is much larger than the original. Shouldn’t something happen like it did to the Ford Bronco when they popped back down to the Bronco II? Doesn’t the US military have a requirement for a small, lightweight, general purpose vehicle?

Here’s a vehicle designed, built and used by the French (notice the propellers):


Another Ahab

Well-known member
Alexandria, VA
Reminds me of that old (now near ancient) TV show, "Rat Patrol" (about Operation Torch).

That's one bad little ride, and evidently armored, is that right? What's the engine? Solid tires?


Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Front Royal, VA
I have always argued that the decision to replace the jeep, a 1/4-ton vehicle, with the HMMWV, a 5/4-ton vehicle, was misguided. Yes, the HMMWV is a great vehicle, and I think it's place in the US inventory, as far as a size of vehicle, is secure. However, I believe that a small, lightweight vehicle with minimal width and maximum off-road capability for its size would be important as well.

Defenders of the 5/4-ton concept say, "well, a HMMWV can go anywhere a jeep can go!". I know one place a HMMWV can't go where a jeep would be right at home - a thick stand of trees, like you would find all across USA. Where a jeep like a M151 would take it's time weaving through the trees and slowly make it across the obstacle, the HMMWV (or any vehicle of its size) would be stopped cold, unable to fit between the trees and it's turning radius would make navigating the tree stand even more difficult. Can you say "3-point turn"? Well, if you have a thick stand of trees, in a HMMWV, you might be doing a thousand of those.

"But you can't armor a jeep as well as you can armor a HMMWV". Yes, that's true, and while you CAN armor a jeep it isn't recommended since the armor would greatly overload the suspension fast. But then again, does every vehicle in the inventory NEED to be armored? Something can be said for armored vehicles, but something can also be said for unarmored vehicles that are fast, more maneuverable, and if the SHTF the occupants can get out and/or return fire faster than they could in a bulky armored vehicle. Also, in an armored vehicle, much harder to see potential threats since your vision is limited by viewports and vision blocks.

I believe there should always be a jeep type vehicle in the US inventory at all times, it has proven itself in our wars from WWII to Desert Storm, and I think it's complete replacement by 5/4-ton "do-it-all" vehicles like the HMMWV was a mistake. Make a new jeep, base it on the 2-door Jeep JK series (95 inch wheelbase), strip it down of all the extraneous junk a spartan combat-type vehicle doesn't need, put a diesel powerplant in it, and you're good to go. Buy 5 to 10,000 of them for light infantry units, base vehicles and airborne, and you have a winner. The HMMWV can stay as a larger part of the mechanized force, still doing what they do best.


LLM/Member 785
Super Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
GA Mountains
They could transport how many Jeeps in a C-47? One or two I believe. Just as the vehicles have grown, so has the aircraft. If I'm not mistaken you can transport 2 unloaded M1A1 tanks in a C5B Galaxy. The following paste comes from According to that site, the HMMWV is light weight.

HMMWVs are air transportable and droppable and can be sling-loaded by military helicopters (CH-47 and CH-53 carries two - UH-60 carries one). Three HMMWVs can be carried inside a C-130 Hercules, four in a C-130J-30, ten in a C-17 Globemaster III, and as many as 15 in a C-5 Galaxy/Super Galaxy. Also, in combat conditions, the HMMWV can be airdropped using the Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System.


PSVB 3003
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Lexington, South Carolina
There was also the argument about being able to tell what kind of unit had been in the area, because a jeep makes different tracks than larger vehicles. The HMMWV was originally designed to have the same width as the deuces so it would be more difficult for enemy aerial surveillance of tire tracks.


New member
Erwin Tn.
The 1/4tn was from the cold war mindset and capacity was the 2 things that killed it. The combat loads increased over the yrs and it all just wouldn't fit in a jeep. Remember the jeep and HMMWV were "utility" vehicles for combat that was supposed to have a front line. Modern warfare has no front line with support behind it.
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks