UK-headquartered equipment-make JCB has won a contract to supply the US military with high speed excavators over the next eight years in a deal worth up to $269m. â€¨â€¨The High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE) can travel at up to 88km/h (55mph) – fast enough to keep up with a military convoy – and comes in armoured configurations.
The US Army and US Marine Corps want up to 400 of the machines, which will be manufactured at JCB’s North American headquarters in Savannah, Georgia.
- See an HMEE bomb along here:
Prototypes were first developed in 2002 for the US Army for military engineering tasks. Â
In 2005, JCB was awarded a contract worth around $209m and a service contract valued at around $20m. Since then JCB has made 1,200 of the machines. â€¨â€¨The 17.5 tonne, 6.7 litre-engine machines are used for earthmoving, building fortifications and clearing ground.
Certified for military transport on ships, rail and aircraft, and for airdrops, it is four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer.
It can lift more than two tonnes and dig to a depth of almost four metres.
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: "When it was developed, the HMEE revolutionised the way military tasks were carried out and we are delighted that the U.S. military has shown great faith in the product by placing this new order."
Image: The 17.5 tonne, 6.7 litre-engine machines are used for earthmoving, building fortifications and clearing ground (JCB)