BAE Systems has received a contract from the US Army for the conversion of additional M88A1 recovery vehicles to the M88A2 heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift evacuation systems (HERCULES) configuration.
Under the terms of $110.4m contract, the company will convert 36 M88A1 recovery vehicles to the Hercules, which provides recovery support to soldiers in the field.
BAE Systems Recovery Programmes director John Tile said: "The HERCULES is an integral part of the US Army’s Armoured Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and essential to its recovery missions as the fleet becomes heavier.
"This award continues the Army’s stated objective to pure-fleet its M88s to the more capable HERCULES configuration."
Equipped with improved power-assisted braking, steering, winching, hoisting, and increased horsepower, the M88A2 Hercules provides operational and logistics commonality with the current M88A1 fleet, eventually simplifying training and offering parts availability benefits to the army.
Hercules also provides cost-efficient, self-supporting heavy recovery performance in the battlefield, recovering vehicles weighing up to 70t, including M1A1, M1A2 Abrams, as well as Leopard tanks, bridging systems, and other medium-weight vehicles.
Powered by the Continental AVDS-1790-2DR diesel engine, the M88A is all weather armoured recovery vehicle designed to repair or replace fighting vehicles’ damaged parts during combat, and also extract vehicles that have slowed down or become entangled.
Work under the contract is expected to begin immediately by the existing workforce primarily at the company’s York, Pennsylvania, and Aiken, South Carolina, facilities.
Deliveries are scheduled to start in January 2017 and continue through October 2017.
Image: The M88 recovery vehicle plays a critical role in BAE’s efforts to maintain the combat vehicle industrial base. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.