Video: JCB’s armoured HMEE backhoe loader
What’s better than a backhoe loader? A high-speed, armour-plated backhoe loader, that’s what. Hooning around in this video is a JCB High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE), similar to that used by the Australian Defence Force.
Acquired through Project NINGAUI, the ADF uses the HMEEs in Afghanistan to repair damaged routes and create bypass routes in areas with threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Two HMEEs are used in each anti-IED ‘system’ along with: two HUSKY Mark 3 armoured route clearance vehicles with ground penetrating radar (GPR) to detect explosive hazards; one HUSKY Mark 3 with an interrogator arm to confirm that an explosive hazard has been found from a safer distance; and two Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles fitted with SPARK mine rollers to provide an extra level of protection against the bombs.
The HMEEs are fitted with bar armour, internal spall liner, blast-attenuating seat, a blast-mitigating belly plate and situational awareness systems.
Other features include a four-wheel drive and steer system with diff lock for off-road use, ABS brakes and a high-torque, turbocharged diesel engine which can run on military fuels like JP8 and F34 with minimal engine degradation.
JCB says the air-conditioned cab has been designed to be comfortable and ergonomic for low fatigue and improved productivity.
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