A hard-top version of the Dongfeng EQ2050 Mengshi (Source: Chinese Internet)
The EQ2050 Mengshi (also known as Dongfeng Armour or Dongfeng Hanma) is the 1.5 tonne capacity, four-wheel drive troop/cargo carrier truck developed and built by Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DFM). The vehicle was based on the General Motors High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) with some minor modifications. According to Chinese media reports, the military version EQ2050 with 100% Chinese-made parts passed the design finalisation trial by the PLA in December 2006.
During the 1988 Beijing Defence Exhibition, AM General demonstrated an example of its M998 4x4 high-mobility multirole wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) to the PLA. The vehicle was reportedly left in China after the exhibition closed for further test and evaluation. Initially the PLA did not show much interest due to the vehicle’s high unit price and maintenance costs, but this attitude was somehow changed after the 1991 Operation Desert Storm, when the HMMWV gained high publicity in front of press cameras.
In the 1990s, Chinese petroleum companies imported a small number of Hummer, the civilian version of HMMWV, through commercial sources from the United States. These vehicles also provided Chinese auto makers with an opportunity to examine the vehicle closely. DFM began to develop a Chinese copy of the HMMWV in mid-2002, and an early prototype EQ2050 Dongfeng Armour built using imported HMMWV parts and chassis made its debut in a car show in 2003, shortly after the automobile-making branch of Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) revealed its HMWWV copy known as SFQ2040 “LieYing” (Falcon).
A prototype of the EQ2050 (Source: Chinese Internet)
A Dongfeng EQ2050 in testing in the Tibet highland (Source: Chinese Internet)
EQ2050 Mengshi in service with the PLA (Source: Chinese Internet)
Knowing that the PLA needed a new-generation 1.5t class high mobility utility vehicle, both companies actively campaigned to prompt their HMMWV copies to the PLA. By 2004 it became clear that the Dongfeng EQ2050 was chosen by the PLA as a potential candidate. Between 2004~2006, a total of 57 examples were delivered to the PLA for test and evaluation. These vehicles were tested in regions with some of the toughest weather and road conditions in China, including the Tibetan Plateau, Gobi desert, and the snow regions in the northeast Heilongjiang province, covering a total mileage of 1.03 million kilometres. In December 2006, the EQ2050 successfully passed the PLA review for design finalisation.
The EQ2050 is generally identical to the HMMWV in appearance and size, but with re-designed headlights and grille. The early prototype of the EQ2050 was based on the imported AM General Hummer H1 chassis, but the later variant was said to be built with 100% Chinese-made contents. The vehicle is available in seven variants all sharing the same chassis, with four basic hull designs (soft-top, hard-top, truck, and van) and two powerplant configurations (license built Cummins EQB150-20 110kW/2,700R turbo-charged diesel or imported GM 6.5 litre V8 turbo-charged diesel).
The EQ2050 has a maximum road speed of 130km/h. The vehicle has a 5-speed gear box and a 2-speed transfer box. It is four-wheel drive with independent suspensions and central inflating system. Optional equipment include air conditioning, GPS, night vision equipment, vehicle-mounted radio, electronic winch, and multipurpose weapon mount.
The EQ2050 Mengshi in the truck configuration (Source: Chinese Internet)
The EQ2058 is the armoured version of the EQ2050 specifically designed for military use. The vehicle is fitted with protection armour plates while its travelling performance remains unchanged. The bonnet and doors are made from non-metallic composite material, which helps reduce the infrared radiation. The EQ2058 is also fitted with the electromagnetic shielding which can protect the engine and onboard electronic equipment from external electromagnetic disrupt. The vehicle’s engine can perform in temperatures between –41~+56°C and up to 95% humidity environment.
An EQ2058 in off-road test (Source: Chinese Internet)