In 1981, the United States Army issued RFPs for a new light cargo vehicle it called the HMMWV for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. The vehicle is frequently referred to as the “Humvee”. This new vehicle had to meet the following requirements:
- Must be able to carry a 2,500 lb payload under combat conditions.
- Total payload and vehicle weight of no more than 7,500 lbs.
- Diesel engine with sufficient muscle to do zero to 30 mph in 6 to 8 seconds using an automatic transmission.
- Maximum speeds of 60+ mph on the highway, 40 mph off the road.
- Range of 300 miles
- Some armored protection for driver and crew that will protect against 16 gram fragments.
Six companies competed for the contract–American LaFrance, FWD, General Dynamics/Chrysler, AM-General, Teledyne, and FMC (Food Machinery Corp.) and three (General Dynamics, Teledyne, and AM General) made it to the final round. After testing, the AM General design was accepted, and AM General was given the contract.
Of the eleven XM-966 prototypes that General Dynamics submitted for testing in mid-1982, three are known to survive:
Serial #1 – Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles
Serial #8 – In private hands
Serial #9 – Ft. Lewis Army Museum