Swedish army buys JCB high-speed loaders

Aaron Morby 14 years ago
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JCB has won a multi-million pound order for its high-speed military backhoe from the Swedish Army.

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration has ordered 10 High Mobility Engineer Excavators, which will be delivered by the end of next year in readiness to go into service in 2012.

The deal thought to be worth around £2m signals another major success for the unique machine.

JCB’s Savannah factory went into production five years ago when the company won its largest ever military order of $230m for up to 800 HMEEs from the United States military.

Tim Burnhope, JCB’s managing director of product development and commercial operations, said: “The HMEE is already in use for a number of armed forces around the world, including the those in the US and the UK, so we’re delighted to have won another substantial order for this unique machine, which is the first from Scandinavia.

“A number of other nations are also expressing strong interest in the HMEE so we are confident of winning more business in the future.”

In Sweden, JCB dealer Soderberg & Haak, based in Malmo, will provide training and product, service and parts support.

In 2008, the British Army placed a £7m order for HMEEs, which are now in service in Afghanistan.

Full production of HMEEs began in 2007 at JCB Inc in Savannah, Georgia.

The machine combines the capabilities of the world-renowned JCB backhoe loader and the innovative high-speed JCB Fastrac agricultural tractor, which is the only tractor to have full suspension and anti-lock brakes.

The objective of the HMEE concept is to have a machine capable of travelling at military convoy speed without the need for transportation by a truck and low-loader trailer. The top speed of the HMEE is 57mph (88kph).

The 12t machine has a 5.9 litre diesel engine, four-wheel drive, four-wheel steer, lift more than two tonnes and dig to a depth of almost 4m.

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