The Biggest, Baddest Military Vehicles In The World

In 2019, the Department of Defense was given a budget of $686.1 billion for military spending. The number, which ballooned from $612 billion just four years before, was described as “$617 billion for the base budget and another $69 billion for war funding.” With all that money being pumped into our armed forces, it’s no surprise the United States military has some of the most intimidating armed vehicles in the world. Keep reading to learn about the biggest and most loaded vehicles in the American arsenal!

The M1117 Guardian Can Reach Freeway Speeds

m1117 military vehicle
Franz J. Marty/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Franz J. Marty/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In the world of military vehicles, how fast you can go is not always the most important question to ask. The power provided by the engine is used for multiple purposes, oftentimes turning top speed into an afterthought.

The M1117 flips that narrative on its head and can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. In comparison, most large military vehicles only reach top speeds between 25 and 45 miles per hour.

The M1 Shredder Helps Clear The Way

m1 assault breacher
Department of Defense
Department of Defense

The M1 Shredder Assault Breacher was brought into service by the Army and US Marine Corps to replace the M1 Grizzly. The massive tank that looks like it could be used as a devastating weapon is actually used by our forces to clear the way for other vehicles and units.

Essentially, the Shredder clears the path by ramming its way through other vehicles or debris that may lay in the roadway. If it does need to take the offensive, though, it is fully equipped with smoke grenades and high volume projectile shooters.

The M2 Bradley Has Room For 10

GettyImages-615294712
CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

The M2 Bradley is a combat vehicle through and through. The heavily armored tank can reach top speeds of 35 miles per hour, can hold 10 soldiers at a time, features a 600-horsepower engine, and is loaded with a 22 mm Bushmaster cannon and armor-piercing missiles.

To make sure no one is left stranded on the battlefield, the M2 also holds up to 155 gallons of fuel. It can go the distance, and then some!

The Buffalo Clearance Vehicle Helps Get Mines Out Of The Way

GettyImages-3051454
DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images
DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images

A massive vehicle that weighs 76,000 pounds and measures 27 feet long, the Buffalo Clearance Vehicle is one of the most important in the military’s arsenal. Known as a mine-protected route clearance vehicle (MPCV), it can reach speeds of 55 miles per hour and has a 30-foot robotic arm with an attached camera and sensory devices to help clear dangerous routes for other vehicles.

The Buffalo was also designed with a V-shaped hull that keeps explosive impact from mines to the minimum.

The Global Hut Is A Tow Truck For Tanks

military het vehicle
Sean Chang/Wikimedia Commons
Sean Chang/Wikimedia Commons

Not every tank is built with a gas tank big enough for long-distance travel. When the military needs to move a short distance assault tank a long distance, they turn to the Oshkosh Global Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET).

The six-wheeled heavy-duty vehicle is capable of 700 horsepower and runs on a Caterpillar C18 engine. The overall payload capacity is 72 tons, making it t the perfect vehicle to transport large tanks to near their target destinations.

The Black Knight Transformer Owns The Land And Air

black knight transformer prototype
Advanced Tactics
Advanced Tactics

If burning down the desert at 70 miles per hour isn’t enough to get your motor running then the Black Knight Transformer is what you’re looking for. Once you’re bored of driving, take it airborne for a truly unique military experience.

Billed as a truck/helicopter hybrid, the Transformer was designed by Advanced Tactics and can reach heights of up to 10,000 feet. The company introduced the vehicle as a concept in 2012, and it has been in development ever since.

The MI1A2 Was A Long Time In The Making

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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Military tanks take a long time to build, test, and approve. The M1A1 was first deployed in 1980 and was one of the military’s top tanks until the M1A2 was brought into the fold. It took over a decade for the upgraded vehicle to be deployed, and it was worth the wait.

The MIA2 Abrams Main Battle Tank has the same frame as its predecessor but is built with depleted uranium armor for better overall protection. It has more tech capabilities and a more efficiently designed commander’s weapon station, as well.

The LVSR Wrecker Is A Favorite Of The Marines

lvsr mkr15 wrecker
Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense

A huge 10×10 support vehicle that is a top choice of the marines is the LVSR MKR15 Wrecker. By the name you probably can’t guess what the vehicle’s intended purpose is — it’s a rescuer.

When other vehicles become stuck in the mud, snow, sand, or any other kind of questionable terrain, the Wrecker is brought in to pull them out. Towing from the front, it can pull anything up to 96,000 pounds. Towing from behind, it can reach weights of 78,000 pounds.

The Cougar 6×6 MRAP Is The Highest Of The High End

cougar mine resistant vehicle
United States Navy
United States Navy

The Cougar is a mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) family of military vehicles, and the 6×6 is the highest end of the entire lot. It comes standard with an automatic grenade launcher and can withstand rocket-propelled grenade fire, too.

The 6×6 has a huge Caterpillar C-7 diesel engine capable of 350 horsepower and 860 pound-feet of torque. The vehicle’s incredible fuel capacity also gives it an overall range of 600 miles, which can be vitally important depending on the mission.

The M88A2 Hercules Has Unmatched Strength

m88a2 hercules recovery vehicle
Department of Defense
Department of Defense

The M88A2 Hercules Recovery Vehicle has played a part in several high profile military campaigns, and with good reason. The strength of the M88 is unmatched. It was designed to weigh a whopping 35 tons with 70-ton constant pull abilities.

The Hercules’ engine reaches capacity at 1,050 horsepower, making the vehicle capable of reaching 30 miles per hour. Perhaps most famously, the M88A2 was used in one mission to pull down a long-standing statue of a foreign dictator.

The CAMEL MRAP Is Modern Day IED Protection

camel mrap vehicle
Department of Defense
Department of Defense

The “concept for advanced military explosion-mitigating land vehicle,” or CAMEL for short, is an 8×8 concept created by Detroit Arsenal to show the future of military vehicles. The company used the opportunity to highlight new technology after analyzing weaknesses from recent campaigns.

The result was a vehicle with a V-shaped bottom that delivers a new, safer way for soldiers to be able to defend against unavoidable IEDs. Only the best intentions went into building the new military beast.

The M142 HIMARS Is A Rocket Launcher On Wheels

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Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images
Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images

With enough room for three people, the lightweight M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a weapon on wheels. The mobile rocket launcher is capable of launching one MGM-140 ATACMS missile or six M270 rockets up to 186 miles away.

Even more incredible, the HIMARS can reach top speeds of more than 50 miles per hour and has an overall travel range of 300 miles. It was developed by Lockheed Martin and can be transported by the Lockheed C-130 Hercules when needed.

The M9 Armored Combat Earthmover Can Knock Down Almost Anything

combat vehicle
Department of Defense
Department of Defense

The “ACE,” or Armored Combat Earthmover, is best described as an unstoppable force once it really gets moving. Thanks to this reputation, it has been a staple in the military since it was first introduced, and likely won’t lose favor anytime soon.

The M9 is still one of the most destructive vehicles in the American arsenal. It can clear river banks, smash almost any obstacle, provide cover for allied forces, knock down walls, and provide protection while setting up an area. Most importantly, it only needs one soldier to operate it.

The QinetiQ Raider 1 Engineer Can Be Operated From 1,000 Yards Away

qinetiq military vehicle
QinetiQ North America
QinetiQ North America

On the surface, this vehicle might not look like much, but its versatility cannot be understated. The QinetiQ Raider 1 can be remote-controlled from over 1,000 yards away. This helps keep soldiers safe as the vehicle is used to identify and take out IEDs.

The design of the Raider 1 is fairly simple as well. It’s based on the Polaris MVRS700, is equipped with clearance tools, and also has engineer support for evacuations and command operations.

The Autonomous Terramax Could Revolutionize Future Military Operations

TerraMax self driving vehicle
Oshkosh
Oshkosh

The Autonomous Terramax from Oshkosh flew under the radar when it was first introduced. While Google was busy wowing the world with its own self-driving concept car, the defense manufacturer created what will hopefully keep soldiers safer overseas.

The idea behind the autonomous Terramax is clear — create a way to keep as many brave men and women out of harm’s way as possible. If the car can be programmed and controlled from a remote location, the American military can do just that.

Is There Anything More Classic Than A Humvee?

military vehicle
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

You didn’t think we would write a list about the best military vehicles and not include the Humvee, did you? One of the longest-standing vehicles in the American brigade, the Humvee was so popular at one point that it was manufactured and sold by GMC as a consumer vehicle.

The consumer Humvee, of course, was largely different than the military vehicle, which comes with protective armor, plenty of weaponry, and a 6.5-liter diesel engine with four-wheel-drive.

The P-19R Aircraft Firefighter Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

P-19R aircraft firefighter
Oshkosh
Oshkosh

When an aircraft goes down in enemy territory, there is only one vehicle the military trusts for the rescue mission — the P-19R Aircraft Firefighter (ARFF). The super-powered vehicle can get to the downed craft quickly and can carry 130 gallons of foam agent along with 1,000 gallons of water.

Never a company to settle, Oshkosh Defense began developing the next-generation version of this life saving and vital military resource in 2016.

The Stryker Combat Vehicle Provides The Perfect Cover

stryker combat vehicle
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

As troops are transported to locations or to new battle areas, they need cover. The Stryker Combat Vehicle was designed and is used to provide that hugely important necessity.

The Stryker has eight wheels and is ammunition resistant for several kinds of weapons fire. In 2016, the military even began arming the vehicle with anti-tank guided missiles as another way to further ensure the safety of soldiers.

The AAV7 Amphibious Assault Vehicle Owns The Land And Sea

aav7 land and sea vehicle
KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP via Getty Images
KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP via Getty Images

Used for marine operations, the AAV7 is capable of being used on both the land and in the water. It takes a crew of three to operate and can handle an additional 25 soldiers.

On land, the AAV7 has an impressive range of 300 miles. While in the sea it is much more limited, maxing out at 20 miles. To help defend the troops inside, the vehicle has a 25 mm Bushmaster cannon and a 40 mm grenade launcher.

The M109A7 Tank Was A Big Upgrade In 2014

m109A7
BAE Systems
BAE Systems

For decades, the U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) relied heavily on the M109A6 Paladin. Eventually, the Paladin needed to be upgraded, so BAE systems started the process to modernize the old tank in 2014.

The upgrades turned into the M109A7, which made the tank more combat capable, catching up to the technological advances it was not yet up to date with. The upgrade also included a brand new digital suite for a tank and as well as a redesigned chassis.