The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of M88A2 heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift and evacuation system (Hercules) improved recovery vehicles and associated equipment to Australia.
Under the estimated $47m sale, Australia has requested six M88A2 Hercules heavy recovery vehicles and seven force XXI battle command, brigade and below / blue force trackers, with AN/PSN-13(V) global positioning system and defence advanced GPS receivers.
The US will supply AN/VAS-5 driver vision enhancers, AN/VRC-92F with RT-1523F single channel ground and airborne radio systems, commander weapon station assemblies, remote thermal sights, radio harnesses, M239 grenade launchers and maintenance support devices.
Approved by the US Department of State, the package also includes deepwater fording kits, spare and repairs parts, supply and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, as well as publications and technical documentation and other related elements of logistics support.
The vehicles are expected to enhance Australia’s capability to conduct heavy-ground operations and support the country’s deterrent capabilities against regional threats.
In addition, the sale directly contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of Australia, which is a major contributor to political stability, security and economic development in South East Asia and worldwide.
BAE Systems has been named as the principal contractor for the FMS programme.
An upgraded version of the M88A1 Hercules, the M88A2 is a self-supportive armoured recovery vehicle used for rescue and recovery of 70t combat vehicles on the battlefield.
Image: US Army soldiers with a M88A2 Hercules vehicle at Fort Polk, Louisiana, US. Photo: courtesy of Sgt Jon Cupp.