Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: JCB High Mobility Engineer Excavator
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: HMEE
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2007
Total Production: 800
Production Cost: USD$230 million
Total Cost: USD$230 million
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Description: The High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE) has been designed for deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan by the United States Army offering logistics capabilities in front patrols. Battlefield commanders can bring logistics capabilities into their tactical patrols dramatically increasing mobility as the vehicle can open up roads, counter-mobility as the HMEE can create obstacles for the enemy, and survivability as the vehicle can provide water and supplies, building berms and laying electrical lines. The development and demonstration program started in 2003 and after four years the US Army awarded JCB a $209 million contract for 800 HMEEs plus a $20 million four-year service contract.
The HMEE is the world's fastest backhoe loader, traveling at speeds up to 60 mph on paved roads (4x2) and off-road (4x4). It comes with full suspension and ABS braking technology, sophisticated computer diagnostics, run-flat tires, roll-over protection and a two-man, air-conditioned cab. The backhoe features JCB heavy-duty steer-drive axles front and rear. Both axles incorporate JCB soft-engaged differentials for on-the-move engagement of different locks. Besides, the excavator can be airlifted by a C-130-sized aircraft.
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