BAE Systems is to upgrade 30 M88A1 hulls into M88A2 heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift and evacuation system (HERCULES) vehicles under a $70m contract.

Conversion of M88A1 to M88A2 HERCULES involves key upgrades including improved power-assisted braking, steering, electrical systems and engine power, and armour protection.

HERCULES recovers battle-damaged combat vehicles including the 70t class M1A1, M1A2, Leopard, bridging systems and other medium-weight vehicles.

Work will be carried out at the company’s facility in York, Pennsylvania, and the deliveries are scheduled to be complete by March 2013.

The contract has been awarded by the US Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.