The Australian Army has become the first non-US military force to employ the Kalmar Rough Terrain Container Handler (RTCH). Initially, two units have been delivered to Australia.
Kalmar RT Center has already delivered over 130 RTCH machines to the US Army, the 100th unit milestone having been achieved in August 2002.
Many armies around the world are now using 20ft and 40ft containers to transport supplies and have therefore acquired commercial equipment to handle these units in their depots. But in order to transport the necessary support supplies to where they are actually needed, ie the front line, a machine that is able to traverse rough terrain is often required. Developed in close co-operation with the US Army, the RTCH has been designed to handle containers in such extreme conditions. Based on Kalmars established reachstacker designs, the four-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steer machine can operate in, amongst other things, mud, sand and up to 1.8m saltwater depth.
The Australian contract has been made possible in that the US Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), which has the sole rights to the RTCH from Kalmar RT Center LLC, approved a re-sale to the Australian Army. Several more such deals are expected over the next few years.
In April 2000, Kalmar RT Center in San Antonio, Texas, signed a contract with the US Army via TACOM to deliver rough terrain container handlers. This contract includes provisions for making sales of the RTCH to foreign military defence forces approved by the US Army.
The US Army contract is a Requirement Type Contract and covers deliveries over the period 2001-2005. The contract has yearly order releases and is estimated to involve 400-500 units. During the months of June and July of last year, the first 16 machines were delivered from Kalmar RT Centerto a US Army base in the State of Washington, USA. Since mid 2001, the Kalmar RT Center has delivered between eight and ten RTCH machines every month and the deliveries should continue at the same pace until the contract is fulfilled.
Kalmar RT Centers RT series has several unique features with patented solutions. The machine is designed in a military (RTCH) version and a commercial (RT) version.
The military version is fitted with a moving operators cab and a folding boom assembly that reduce the vehicles transport height. This makes it possible to transport the machine on large aircraft, by ship, via rail or by road trailer on a normal highway without requiring disassembly.
The RT series offers automatic load-control and has a built-in scale to weigh the lifted load. A digital screen shows the operator the loads weight and the computer assists the operator in maintaining a safe load placement during operations.
Kalmar RT Centers RTCH machines have a unique construction with several patented solutions.
Stan Simpson, President of Kalmar RT Center, says:
The RT series is truly state of the art. It is the most advanced drive-by-wire rough terrain construction equipment machine offered in the world today.
The US Armys RTCH order also includes a separate contract for replacement parts and service for a 15 year period. Kalmar RT Center is the primary supplier of replacement parts and all major repairs and upgrades of RTCH equipment during the 15 years covered by the contract.
The commercial version of Kalmars rough terrain reachstacker is suited to meet the handling requirements of containers in remote areas and around large construction sites. Besides being a container handler, the RT machine can be fitted with varying types of attachments.
Marketing and sales of RT machines in North and South America is conducted by Kalmar RT Center in Texas. In Europe, sales will begin by a specially selected dealer network.
Notes to Editor
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The caption reads:
The Australian Army has become the first non-US military force to employ the Kalmar Rough Terrain Container Handler (RTCH). Kalmar RT Centerhas already delivered over 130 RTCH machines to the US Army, the 100th unit milestone having been achieved in August 2002.