Ricardo helps improve safety of the U.S. Army’s iconic HMMWV for future decades

Ricardo helps improve safety of the U.S. Army’s iconic HMMWV for future decades
11 September 2016

U.S. Army Calvary Scouts in up-armored HMMWV gun-trucks conduct a field training exercise. [The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement]
Following a highly successful pilot program – conducted in collaboration with the Michigan National Guard and U.S. Army – involving the field testing of a number of vehicles fitted with a Ricardo engineered antilock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) system, the ‘HMMWV Rollover Mitigation program’ has become a priority for the United States Congress.


The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or ‘Humvee’, is a core element of the U.S. Army’s vehicle fleet and one that is planned to remain in service well beyond the next decade. In order to improve the safety, serviceability and agility of this important military vehicle, Ricardo embarked on a project in 2014 to modify a fleet of ten HMMWVs belonging to the Michigan National Guard, with a Ricardo engineered ABS and ESC system that would significantly improve occupant safety.

The Ricardo system was developed, in part, in response to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report conducted in 2014 that discovered a 74 percent reduction in vehicle rollover since the 2011 mandate of ABS and ESC systems on all passenger vehicles in the U.S. The Ricardo system is the first of its kind to uniquely adapt the same commercial automotive components cited in the NHSTA report to improve HMMWV handling and vehicle stability at a low cost.  Moreover, the system also provides shorter stopping distances, significant reduction in the wear of brake system components, and increased reliability and hence operational readiness. Congress’ inclusion of the ‘HMMWV Rollover Mitigation program’ as a priority in the forthcoming defense budget validates the important contribution to vehicle safety that this Ricardo engineered system offers.

“Our work with the US Army and the National Guard in developing and testing this new Ricardo system to improve the stability and dynamic performance of the HMMWV, demonstrates our ability to engineer practical and robust solutions for military vehicles,” commented Ricardo Defense Systems president, Chet Gryczan. “The safety of our service men and women is of paramount importance, and we are proud that the Ricardo rollover mitigation system has shown sufficient promise, this project is now viewed by Congress as a priority in the next fiscal year.”

The complete package developed and tested by Ricardo for the HMMWV includes antilock braking, electronic stability control, active rollover protection, traction control, and improved brake calipers, pads and rotors. The entire system leverages low-cost, proven components Ricardo engineered specifically for the arduous requirements of application in the military environment, and was designed for ease of upgrade to the existing fleet.

Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans added: “Ricardo Defense Systems offers its military customers in the United States military a highly secure source of advanced engineering capability that is based in the State of Michigan, but one which is able to access the skills and technology of the entire international Ricardo group.  This work on the HMMWV is an excellent demonstration of how Ricardo can tailor the services it provides to the precise requirements of its most demanding and sophisticated customers, wherever they are located globally.”


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