JCB has won a $50 million contract to supply high-speed backhoe loaders to the United States Army, the company said. The High Mobility Engineer Excavators will be manufactured at JCB’s North American plant in Savannah, Ga., and will be delivered by 2017.
The U.S. Army was the first military organization to purchase HMEEs when it awarded JCB a contract worth $206 million in 2005, still the largest single order in JCB history. Since then JCB has sold the machine to other allied nations.
“Over the past 30 years, JCB has supplied armies in 57 countries with over 4,000 machines, and we are delighted to build on that success by securing this latest contract with the United States Army,” said JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald.
Engineered by a global team and produced in the United States, the 17.5-ton HMEE revolutionized the way military engineering tasks were tackled. Capable of speeds up to 60 mph, the HMEE is able to keep up with military convoys on the road, eliminating the need to transport the unit with a truck and trailer.
The machine also comes with blast-protection systems that have saved the lives of operators who have encountered improvised explosive devices while on duty in conflict zones.
The contract includes the provision of training and service support. The HMEE-1 has a 6.7-liter diesel engine and is four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer. It can lift two tons and dig to a depth of about 13 feet. The machine is offered in a base model, a full-crew protection model and an enhanced protection NATO Theatre Entry Standard model.