JCB Construction Equipment, the world's largest privately owned construction business, unveiled December 4 the 60-mph, state-of-the-art JCB High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE), purpose-built for the U.S. Army and destined for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, where it will provide battlefield commanders with a myriad of logistics capabilities in front patrols. Built at JCB's North American headquarters in Savannah, Ga., the HMEE was unveiled at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. JCB's production contract with the U.S. Army is worth an estimated $209 million for 800 JCB HMEE military machines. A four-year service contract under negotiation has an estimated value of an additional $20 million.
"JCB's hallmark is design and innovation," said Worldwide CEO John Patterson of JCB. "We are proud to have met and exceeded stringent U.S. military requirements for speed, strength and durability. Because we are a private, family-owned business, we have the agility and flexibility to research, design and bring premium quality products to market much faster than the competition."
The JCB HMEE is the world's fastest backhoe loader, traveling at speeds up to 60 mph on both paved road and cross-country surfaces, comes complete with full suspension and ABS braking technology, sophisticated computer diagnostics, run-flat tires, roll-over protection, and a two-man, air-conditioned cab. The HMEE provides strategic engineering capabilities increasing: mobility — opening up roads; counter-mobility — creating obstacles for the enemy; and survivability — providing water and supplies, building burms, and laying electrical lines. The leading Marine, General Manager of the Military Products Division Chris Saucedo, has hired a talented team of military veterans uniquely qualified to develop and deliver military machines to the soldier in the field. "Contemporary conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan aren't fought with traditional front and rear lines," said General Manager, Military Products Division, Chris Saucedo. "At 60-mph, the really exciting thing about the JCB HMEE is the flexibility and improved capabilities it gives to field commanders in front patrols."
The JCB (HMEE) is the result of a four-year program of design, development and testing and was built specifically for the U.S. military as a replacement for their small emplacement excavator. Weighing approximately 17.55 tons with armor and 15.75 tons without armor, the four-wheel drive, four-wheel-steer machine with a 6.7-liter diesel engine can lift more than 2.2 tons and dig a depth of almost 13 feet.