There are many different types of Army vehicles in use today. Some think of the U.S. Army as being all tanks and Humvees, but there is a lot more to the Army’s “fleet” of military vehicles–including aircraft and drones.
Other Army vehicles include tanks, Armored Personnel Carriers, and Armored Fighting Vehicles. What’s listed below is not the entire inventory–it’s too large to list comprehensively here–but a greatest hits version of the kinds of vehicles you can expect to find in the Army inventory.
U.S. Army Helicopters
The U.S. Army has an impressive range of helicopters–many basic types in current or recent use not including variants, experiments, and in-development airframes. The Army’s helicopter fleet includes the UH-60 Black Hawk.
Believe it or not, this four-blade, twin-engine, helicopter was introduced in the 1970s. It has a long history of use; today’s Army uses them for special operations, electronic warfare, and “multi-mission” capabilities.
Other Army helicopters include the MH-47 Chinook, which is also described as a multi-mission aircraft.
The Chinook is even older in concept than the Black Hawk; the Chinook began as a concept in the 1950s and has been refined and improved from the earliest days of use in the Army.
U.S. Army Drones
The U.S. Army recruiting official site lists a job opportunity described as an “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operator”, who are intelligence specialists who perform air reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting missions, and much more, all performed remotely and without the operator sitting in an actual cockpit.
The U.S. Army uses drones such as the MQ-1C Warrior UAV, which has been used in Iraq, South Korea, and elsewhere.
Army Propeller Aircraft
The C-12J, also known as the Beechcraft 1900C is a turboprop aircraft used by the U.S. military for a variety of purposes including GPS jamming tests (Air Force) and transport (Army).
The Army has also used turboprop aircraft like the C-27J Spartan for training and transport.
Army Tanks and Fighting Vehicles
The M-1 Abrams tank has been in use by the Army since the 1980s and has seen combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is one of the main “battle tanks” used by both the Army and the Marine Corps. It first saw real-world combat in the Persian Gulf.
Another Army stalwart is the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which is used as both troop transport and as suppressing fire against both combatants and armor.
This vehicle was designed to match the speed of the M-1 Abrams and some sources report that early concepts for this vehicle included the ability to float, but armor upgrades in later iterations of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle made this impractical or impossible. There are variants of the original concept and design including the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle including a specific variant for Operation Desert Storm.
Armored Personnel Carriers / Armored Fighting Vehicles
The ICV Striker is essentially a hybrid Armored Personnel Carrier and Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
The Infantry Carrier Vehicle Stryker is a group of a family of eight-wheeled combat vehicles with a number of variants. The vehicle has four-wheel and eight-wheel drive capabilities. The Stryker is used as part of Stryker Brigade Combat Teams and is a vehicle compatible with C4 Command and Control networks. In 2018 plans were announced to modify Strikers to add protection against Russian UAVs.
The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle / HUMVEE comes in armored and unarmored variants.
Photo Credit: Lance CPL Olivia Ortiz
Also known as Hummers, the Humvee is described as a light four-wheel drive utility vehicle meant to replace Army jeeps, certain configurations of Army ambulances, and cargo vehicles.
The military has used some 17 different versions of this vehicle, and some sources report military officials considering the Humvee for use as a drone, and in 2007 there was discussion about replacing Hummers with the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle. However, in 2016 the first seven Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, pictured below, were delivered to the Army for testing as a Humvee replacement.