The US Government has approved a potential sale of 19 M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lifting Extraction System (HERCULES) recovery vehicles to Kuwait.

The estimated cost of the recovery vehicles and associated equipment is expected to be $281m.

The possible foreign military sale will be finalised subject to the approval of Congress.

If Congress clears the sale, Kuwait will also procure 19 .50 calibre machine guns, M239 smoke grenade launchers, AN/PVS-7D night vision goggles, and Driver Vision Enhancer DVE-CV (platform-mounted night vision device) for vehicles.

Other equipment requested by the government includes remote thermal sights/kits, vehicle intercom set (VIC-3) SINCGARS AN-VRC92E export radio system, and Commander’s Cupola gun shield assembly for vehicle crew chief.

The proposed deal will also include the refurbishment / overhaul of Kuwait’s existing fleet of M88Al/A2 recovery vehicles.

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In addition, the package will cover tools and test equipment, spare and maintenance support parts for vehicles and machine guns, repair services for vehicle components, as well as engineering, technical and logistics support services.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said: “The proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of a major non-Nato ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

“The M88A2 is essential to the long-term sustainability of Kuwait’s new M1A2 tank fleet for national defence. Kuwait will have no difficulty absorbing this additional equipment and services.”

The M88A2 HERCULES is a 70t full tracked armoured vehicle capable of supporting rescue and recovery missions on the battlefield.

It can be used for towing, winching and hoisting and to evacuate stranded combat vehicles.

BAE Systems, US Ordnance, DRS Technologies, Harris, Northrup Grumman and Raytheon will serve as the principal contractors for the foreign military sale.