The deal centres on the supply of High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs) for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps.
Prototypes of the machine – capable of speeds up to 55mph (88kph) – were first developed in 2002 specifically for the U.S. Army to meet its demand for a high-speed backhoe loader capable of undertaking military engineering tasks. In 2005, JCB was subsequently awarded a contract worth around $209 million, along with an additional service contract valued at around $20 million. Subsequent contract extensions and international sales have seen HMEE production for the U.S. and allied nations rise to 1,200 machines.
Today it was confirmed that a new contract has been signed for the supply of up to 400 HMEEs which will all be manufactured at JCB’s North American headquarters in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to the base unarmoured HMEE, JCB will also provide armoured variants as well as attachments and service support.