When the mission is critical and the risk is high, militaries need vehicles they can rely on to move in and out of the danger zone, over any terrain, while protecting them from known and unknown threats.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with these vehicles, whether land, sea or air, being loaded with firepower. Here are some of the most powerful means of transport employed by the army.
JLTV: Common Light Tactical Vehicle
What it's known for: Bigger, stronger, longer and taller than a Humvee, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (or JLTV) is twice as heavy and far better able to navigate rough terrain when of unconventional warfare.
Protection: Crossing a minefield (literally)? It is equipped with anti-suicide armored doors weighing several hundred kilos each. The cabin is enveloped in an armored shell, and offers blast-protected seats and underbelly, as well as an automatic fire suppression system.
Firepower: Heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles.
Superpower : A "smart" suspension, adjustable in height, helps the JLTV conquer steep slopes and rocky ravines.
What it's known for: Larger than the JLTV, the 19-ton Stryker can accommodate up to nine soldiers and two crew. Designed to be versatile, it is available in 10 different configurations and easily switches from four-wheel (highway) to eight-wheel (cross-country) driving.
Firepower: heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and guided missiles.
Protection : Strykers feature a reinforced V-shaped hull to protect the landing gear from IEDs. A nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance version carries real-time contamination sensors and transmits digital alert messages to tracking forces.
What's in its name: This vehicle was named after two Stryker Medal of Honor recipients, one from WWII and one from Vietnam.
AAV-7A1 Amphibious Assault Vehicle (Amtrac)
What it's known for : Durable and proven around the world, this amphibious assault vehicle has for decades splashed the coastline from the decks of US Marine Corps assault ships, conducting attacks on beaches.
Capacity : The interior cabin can hold three crew members and 21 soldiers, or up to 10,000 kg of equipment. In 2018, the Marines awarded a new contract for an updated version of the AAV, which will be smaller and more powerful.
Superpower : Versatility. At sea, it can ride waves up to 3 meters high. On land, it can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h and can manage checkpoints, work as a tanker or even as a field ambulance.
U.S. Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Corps prepare to begin a patrol in the MRZR all-terrain vehicle, at Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton, California.
Pfc Rhita Daniel, US Marine Corps/DVIDS
What it's known for: When the military needed nimble, ultra-light vehicles that could be deployed anywhere behind enemy lines, it took a popular all-terrain vehicle called the Razer and put it jacked up for use on the battlefield. This featherweight, which weighs only one-seventh the weight of a JLTV, can be carried anywhere by virtually any aircraft.
A possible future superpower: the military is experimenting with equipping them with a high-energy laser capable of shooting down swarms of drones.
Military aircraft V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor
What it's known for: Part helicopter, part plane, the Osprey is the world's first production tilting plane, a hybrid that can take off and land vertically (so it can get in and out of tight spots). But once in the air, it transforms into a turboprop aircraft that flies faster, farther and at higher altitudes than any conventional helicopter.
By the numbers: The Osprey can carry up to 24 fully equipped soldiers, reach a speed of 563 km/h, climb to a height of 7620 meters.
His superpowers: He can be refueled in flight. Additionally, the Osprey's wings can pivot and rotate, allowing for compact storage on ships and aircraft, similar to retracting the side mirrors of a car.
The F-35 stealth fighter
What it's known for: The F-35 is the world's most advanced supersonic single-engine stealth fighter, developed to maintain dominance of the US air fleet - and do so undetected. Its extensive capabilities include air-to-air and air-to-ground electronic strikes, intelligence gathering, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
In figures: Maximum speed Mach 1.6 (1.5 times the speed of sound). Price: $80 million.
Firepower : Carries anti-tank missiles, cluster bombs, and guided bombs.
Expensive helmets: Pilots use a helmet-mounted display instead of a standard heads-up display. Each helmet costs between $300,000 and $400,000.
Superpowers: Advanced electronic warfare capabilities allow the F-35 to locate and track enemy forces, jam radio frequencies and suppress enemy radar. It can track enemy missiles 360 degrees. And the F-35B is the world's first stealth supersonic aircraft with a short takeoff and vertical landing.
M1 A2 Abrams Tank
What it's known for: Having made its debut during the Persian Gulf War, the M1 A2 Abrams is arguably the most powerful tank in the history of warfare, the first to fire effectively on the move. Its turbine engine, much quieter than that of other tanks, earned it the name "Whispering death".
According to the figures: The Abrams is a monster: It is 3 meters long, 4 meters wide, 2 meters high and weighs 65 tons. Despite its size, it can still accelerate to a speed of 65 km/h.
Protection: Its armor is at the forefront of nuclear, biological and chemical (NRBC) protection. Depleted uranium plates, stronger than steel, protect the frontal part of the turret.
Firepower: Its stabilized 120 mm gun and 5 meters long can fire on the move or stationary, day or night. It also has powerful machine guns that can provide close-range air defense against helicopters and low-flying aircraft.
Superpower : The Abrams' ballistic fire control computer calculates barrel angle, ammo type, and target range 30 times per second for superior accuracy. And it compensates for everything from the gravitational pull on the mouth to the amount of heat the mouth could have produced in the desert sun.