"The preliminary design work on the (M998 Series) of the High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle, most known as the Humvee, began in 1979 by AM General. This was a 1.25-ton truck whose objective was to replace the M151 and other light tactical vehicles. In 1981, The US Army awarded a prototype contract. The development and operational testing took place during a five-month period in 1982. By March 1983, AM General had won the initial contract to produce the first 55,000 Humvees. They were to be delivered in five basic models and 15 different configurations over a five-year period. Later on, the Army increased its order by 15,000 additional vehicles, which raised the total order to 70,000 Humvees. This vehicle offers exceptional speed, mobility and agility. It is built on a multipurpose platform. Some of its features are full-time four-wheel drive, independent suspension, steep approach and departure angles, 60% gradability and 16” of ground clearance. US Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy currently use Humvees in local and overseas locations. The first Humvee was rolled out on January 2, 1985 from their South Bend facility and it was a standard military vehicle. AM General was awarded a new multi-year contract from the US Army in August 1989 for continued production of more than 33,000 Humvees. The first deliveries of this new contract began in January 1990. The number of vehicles produced raised to nearly 50,000. An additional contract was awarded in 1994. The latest one was awarded in 2000 and it calls to the production of up to 31, 474 additional units for 2007. More than 175,000 Humvees have been built and delivered to US armed forces and more than 50 friendly nations overseas. A very prominent Humvee in the US military action in Panama was the workhorse from 1989-90. Even more so in 1991 during operation desert storm, where 20,000 Humvees earn high praises from US troops. Wherever American soldiers go, their Humvees go with them. On this account, Humvees have played an important role in Somalia, he Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Hummer was produced for civilians in 1992, also by AM General. It has been known as the most serious 4X4. Users value the Hummer’s long life, amazing performance, toughness and mobility all rolled up in one vehicle. "