Are Hummers military vehicles adapted for civilian use? Many people believe that Hummers share the capabilities of their military cousins the Humvee.
But can they stop a bullet?
Let’s find out in this post.
Are Hummers bulletproof?
Hummers are not bullet-proof. They are purely civilian vehicles designed for non-combat applications. However, aftermarket ballistic protection companies can make any Hummers bulletproof but it’s not standard from the factory.
Firms like International Armor Corps (IAC), INKAS, and several others charge a fat fee to provide different levels of armor protection for H1s, H2s and H3s.
How Much Does It Cost to Bullet-Proof a Hummer?
The cost of armoring a Hummer depends on the level of protection you want.
However, going by regular rates, you can expect to pay up to $150,000 to $200,000 for B6 ballistic protection.
There are 7 levels of ballistic protection but many civilian vehicles use B6 armor which can stop M80 rounds and AK 47 bullets at point-blank range.
The cost depends on the whole package and it goes higher with the level of protection.
The type of armor is also important as some people prefer discreet, transparent armor that does not alter the vehicle’s original appearance.
You may also want to add reinforced suspension, run-flat tires, overlap system, and operable windows.
The cost increases if you opt for armored batteries, fuel tank, ECM and radiator protection.
The armoring companies use various proprietary technologies which dictate distinct pricing regimes.
It’s difficult to buy already armored Hummers because they are only used by professional security outfits, VIPs and celebrities.
So if you need an armored Hummer, approach one of the armoring companies for a quote.
The biggest of them all is International Armoring Corporation which developed the lightweight ArmoMax ballistic protection technology.
How do You Make a Hummer Bullet-Proof?
Armoring a Hummer does not differ from adding ballistic protection to other large SUVs.
Thankfully, most Hummers are excellent candidates for armor because of their powerful engines, strengthened chassis, and huge bulk.
They can carry extra weight easily without losing speed and maneuverability.
The most important part of the vehicle is the cabin to protect the occupants.
Armorers use materials such as heat-treated, hardened ballistic alloys or plate steel to bullet-proof the entire passenger compartment.
The doors, pillar posts, roof, windows, door hinges, the hood, and even the tailgate are reinforced without adding excessive weight to the vehicle.
The technicians replace the original glass with layered glass and acrylic, polycarbonate laminates. This provides 100 percent transparency, looks like the original glass while delivering up to level B6 ballistic protection.
If the vehicle’s suspension is not strong enough for the increased weight, you can ask for reinforcements.
Other Add-ons To Consider
Run-flat tire inserts can also increase the range of the vehicle if bad guys blow out the wheels.
You can also armor vulnerable points such as the fuel tank, batteries, radiator and pay for electronic countermeasures (ECM).
Armoring companies can also add electric door handles, a smoke screen system, bomb blankets, and external listening devices for all-around situational awareness.
Professional bodyguards go for the full option to guarantee the safety of their VIP clients.
Armoring a Hummer can take technicians up to 10 weeks as they have to strip down the vehicle to make sure the armor covers all the weak points.
It can take even longer if they have to reinforce the suspension or upgrade the motor.
If you are just a regular guy looking for a macho truck, why go through all this trouble if you are not going to war?
How About Military and Police Hummers?
The original military Humvees and the types transferred to the police are also unarmored.
Military Hummers, i.e. the HMMWV are extremely heavy even without armor.
They were not designed to provide ballistic protection but to move troops and materiel as fast as possible in the shadow of heavy armor.
But the reality of war is not so clear-cut.
Troops riding in Hummers were forced to add steel plates to their war chariots when the fighting became really ugly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This was a disadvantage as the vehicle became heavier, slower, and even more vulnerable to indirect fire and ambushes.
There are newer versions of the Humvee that solve these inadequacies. But the military is moving on to the more capable and combat-biased Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
If you see an armored military or police Humvee, it probably is an upgrade.
Is the Hummer EMP Proof?
Civilian Hummers are not immune to an EMP blast because they use computerized controls.
However, the old, trusty Humvee can survive an electromagnetic pulse attack. This is because all of its vital control systems are manual.
Everything from the transmission, steering, brakes, HVAC and important systems require no computers or electronics to work.
In the event of an EMP attack, the Humvee will still be able to start and make an escape while more advanced vehicles deal with their fried systems.
In a recent interview, officials of AMG touted this capability of the Humvee to show that the vehicle still has a lot to offer.
The military might be replacing the HMMWV with the bigger and more powerful JLTV, but the latter with its high-tech controls cannot survive an EMP attack.
A Humvee might lack ballistic protection, but it compensates for that with its traditional controls that provide simplicity and reliability.
The first Hummer H1s also shared the manual controls of the Humvee which may help them fare better against EMP.
But the H2 and H3 with their creature comfort and computer-assisted driving aids don’t stand a chance.
Hummers are not military vehicles so don’t expect them to come with armor. However, you can add ballistic protection up to B6 level to a Hummer or any vehicle.
If you would like some level of protection while riding in your H1 or H2, get a quote from the professionals. Better still you may be lucky to find one on the used market.
But remember that this doesn’t mean it’s shatterproof. A crowbar can destroy even enforced glass if you’re persistent enough.
Stay safe out there!