Today, the Army has over 100,000 Humvees spread across the Active and Reserve Components. The Army’s long-term tactical wheeled vehicle strategy envisions replacing about half of the Humvee fleet with Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) at a cost of approximately $39 billion over the next two decades. But the proposed JLTV acquisition will not be completed until around 2040. Even then, more than half the Army’s light tactical vehicle fleet will consist of Humvee variants. In order to maintain the utility of the Humvee fleet for the next several decades, the Army needs to refurbish these vehicles, provide many of them with more powerful engines, better transmissions and more robust suspension systems. The Army currently recapitalizes around 1,200 Humvees annually at a cost of some $150 million. Recapitalization involves rebuilding existing vehicles to an updated configuration at which point it is in “like new” condition. Doubling this figure to 2,500 vehicles a year for an additional cost of about $150 million a year would put the Humvee fleet on a path to full recapitalization in a reasonable time frame. I have written more about the value of the Humvee and the need to recapitalize the fleet to the Future Force for The National Interest here.
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