INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Humvees, the hulking all-terrain vehicles once synonymous with the U.S. Army, no longer suit its needs and no more will be ordered, an Army spokesman said Wednesday.
The Army will take the 2,620 new Humvees it has on order, but those will be the last it buys, Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings said.
"Feedback from our commanders overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq was that the Humvees were just not providing the desired level of protection for our soldiers," Cummings said. "The force protection is the number one thing that we think about with our soldiers."
Commanders, especially those in Afghanistan, are increasingly using armored fighting vehicles called MRAPs, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, he said. The low-riding, lightly armored Humvees are more vulnerable to roadside bombs.
The Army announced its decision to stop ordering Humvees in its 2011 budget released Monday.
More than half of the Humvees produced at AM General in Mishawaka each year are made for the Army, and the company will talk to military and congressional leaders about the decision to discontinue orders, spokeswoman Celeste Ross said.
Meanwhile, it will continue to produce Humvees for the Army through the end of its contract in October, as well as for other branches of the military, Ross said.
Rep. Joe Donnelly, who got word of the Army's decision upon returning from visiting troops in Afghanistan, said he was disappointed by the Army's decision, but there's still time to change the budget before it is approved.
"Humvees have served the military well for 25 years, and I will forcefully make the case that they have a role to play in the years to come," Donnelly said Wednesday.
Cummings said the Army will continue to need parts for its existing Humvee fleet, and the proposed 2011 budget includes $989 million for maintenance, parts and service.
AM General also produces the Hummer H2 as a contract assembler for General Motors, which is selling Hummer to focus on core brands Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.
However, GM announced Monday that its plan to sell the nonmilitary Hummer brand to a Chinese company has been delayed by a month. GM and Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. are extending the deadline to complete the transaction until Feb. 28.