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Aussie HMEV becomes Yank IHMEE

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  • Aussie HMEV becomes Yank IHMEE

    Tried, Tested and True – Aussie HMEV becomes Yank IHMEE
    The HMEV was well-received by the CF engineers in East Timor. But, despite its success, no further HMEV orders came from the CF. The US Army had watched these trials with interest and was quick to pick up on their significance. The HMEV’s high speed and optional armour made it a natural fit with the fast-moving US Army Stryker Brigades. After a trial period, the US Army placed orders* for the vehicle as the Interim High-Mobility Engineering Excavator (IHMEE or HMEE) in late 2002. In US service, IHMEE will replace the SEE** (Small Emplacement Excavator). Since US Stryker Brigade concepts and the CF’s Equipment Rationalization Plan are based on the LAV III , the lack of CF interest in the HMEV is hard to explain.

    * The US Army ordered 40 IHMEE in October 2002 with options on a further 80 — final numbers now seems to have settled at 63 vehicles.
    ** The SEE consists of a Case 580e backhoe/front-end loader set mounted on a 4x4 Mercedes Unimog. Although the Unimog chassis has many advantages over a conventional backhoe, the SEE is top-heavy and incapable of keeping pace with a Stryker column on the move.
    Better to be judged by twelve
    then carried by six.

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