High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE)
The US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) is seeking potential sources of supply to produce and field the Army's High Mobility Engineer Excavator (HMEE). The HMEE (himmy) will be a self-deployable excavation system with attachments to execute a wide range of mobility, countermobility, survivability, and general engineering missions. US Army forces operate in the full spectrum of environments and need a rapid excavator to keep up with today's maneuver forces.
It is envisioned that two types of HMEE vehicles will be needed: Type I to meet medium and heavy unit requirements and Type II to meet the specialized needs of airborne and air assault units. The Type II will perform similar missions but meet the transportability requirements that will allow it to be used by airborne, air assault, and light units. Both types will have the versatility to maintain convoy speeds, rapidly perform excavation tasks and then quickly self-deploy to the next mission site. A backhoe attachment on the rear can excavate up to 14 cubic feet of dirt or gravel per scoop, seven more cubic feet than the SEE. When the backhoe is not in use, it folds up, turns sideways and leans in toward the HMEE's cab.
The HMEE can assist all soldiers on the battlefield, whether digging a fighting position in a matter of seconds or providing a large berm to serve as a barrier to the enemy. More importantly, the new lighter, faster and smaller gadgets offer the light engineer greater tactical advantage in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) settings.
The HMEE will replace the Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE), currently in the Army's inventory. The SEE is reaching the end of its intended life cycle and was not designed to meet the requirements of medium to heavy forces. The HMEE can reach a speed of 70 mph, as opposed to the 30 mph top speed of the SEE. The HMEE will be assigned and used by Heavy, BCT (Type I) and Light (Type II) Engineer units as well as selected Ordnance and Quartermaster units.
The HMEE will support early entry operations, supporting Force XXI operations, and Brigade Combat Team (BCT) operations which are characterized by high mobility, rapid tactical and operational movement and distributed operations. The HMEE blends speed and mobility with loading, lifting and excavating capabilities giving it the utility needed early in deployments. Therefore, the HMEE will be one of the first engineer systems in theater. Among the tasks the HMEE will perform are: preparing and filling craters on airfields, filling in pot holes, clearing/repairing drainage, lifting debris, loading aggregate required for construction or repair, digging trenches for culverts, and rapid repair of existing roads. The HMEE will also lift pallet loads for logistical requirements.
For Force Protection and Force Sustainment, the HMEE will perform digging, lifting, loading and trenching operations. A focus of the HMEE BCT mission is to construct individual and crew served weapon positions, and perform line of communications, airfield and rapid road repairs. In support of major construction projects, the HMEE will aid construction of protective shelters/bunkers, towers and helipads, bridge site preparation, assist with the emplacement of LOC bridges, aid in seaport construction, logistic bases operations, and other structures and facilities. When equipped with various attachments, the HMEE will provide combat deployed units a host of earthmoving and construction support capabilities. There is no requirement, nor is it envisioned for the HMEE to do large area earthmoving blade work, obstacle blade reduction, or assault breaching.
TACOM published a Request For Proposal in 2QFY2002 with a two-year R&D contract award to up to three contractors in 3QFY2002. Under the R&D contract, test vehicles will be built and then delivered for eight months of testing starting 3QFY2003. The purpose of this testing is to mitigate risk by proving out technical capabilities and to assist in downselecting to a single contract prior to awarding the production contract. TACOM intends to publish an RFP for the production contract in 4QFY2004 and award the production contract to a single contractor in 2QFY2005. First Unit Equipped is anticipated in 3QFY2006.
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