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Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.
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17 Dec 10. JCB has won a multi-million pound order for its high-speed military backhoe from the Swedish Army. The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (“FMV”) is procuring on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces 10 High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs), which will be delivered by the end of next year in readiness to go into service in 2012. The deal signals another major success for the unique machine which went into production at JCB’s Savannah factory when, in 2005, the company won its largest ever military order – worth a total 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 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 12 tonne 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 four metres. It is designed to be air-transportable by Hercules C-130 aircraft. Added to this, a theatre proven crew protection package makes the HMEE a new force within military engineering. Over almost 30 years, JCB has supplied 45 different military organisations across the world with more than 3400 JCB machines.
21 Dec 10. The 2nd Infantry Division of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) is receiving new M1A2 Abram tanks and upgraded M2A2 Bradley fighting vehicles over the next five months, the 8th U.S. Army here announced
Dec. 21. The up-to-date vehicles will arrive in the division north of Seoul between December and May to replace the current fleet of the division’s combat vehicles, it said in a news release. The division now operates M1A1 tanks and older M2A2 vehicles.
“The new vehicles are an upgrade to the current fleet of 2nd I.D.’s combat vehicles in South Korea,” the release said. “The new vehicles are fitted with improved tracking systems, fire control systems, and improved armor that better equips the 2nd Infantry Division for the battlefield of the 21st century.”
While the deployment of new vehicles is not an increase in the number of U.S. combat vehicles on the Korean Peninsula, it is a significant increase in combat