BAE Systems to build M88A2 recovery vehicles for Iraq
BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to produce eight M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation Systems (HERCULES) for the Iraqi Army. The $31.8 million agreement is to fulfil a foreign military sale contract for the US government.
The HERCULES vehicle is designed to perform recovery missions in support of modern tank forces. Key features of the vehicle include improved power-assisted braking to enable the recovery vehicle to tow an M1A1 tank, increased horsepower, an improved electrical system, and a modernised hydraulic system and a boom that enables the vehicle to lift an M1A1 turret. According to BAE Systems, HERCULES has the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system; and provides ‘unparalleled capability for recovering today’s heavy combat vehicles including the M1A1, M1A2, Leopard MBT, bridging systems and other medium to heavy weight vehicles’.
Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Vehicle Systems at BAE Systems, said of the contract: ‘BAE Systems is answering the need for a cost-effective, self-supporting, heavy recovery performance vehicle. HERCULES will provide the Iraqi military with a recovery vehicle that has been tested and proven to tow and hoist today’s heaviest combat vehicles’.
To date, more than 500 HERCULES vehicles have been fielded against an overall US Army requirement of 748 vehicles; and a total of 75 vehicles have been fielded to the US Marine Corps.
Work on these vehicles is expected to begin in late 2013 and is anticipated to be complete in mid-2014.
More from Land Warfare
Leonardo DRS is providing more target acquisition systems for gunners aboard the Bradley IFV.
Germany can now fund the delivery of four IRIS-T air defence systems to Ukraine.
The new handheld fire control system, SMASH 3000, has an extended lethality range and can be used as a C-UAS solution.
The latest commitment to Ukraine will double its HIMARS fleet from 16 to 34, but the 18 additional systems will not be available to Ukraine immediately as they need to be built.
Acquiring the SABER M60 2.0 3D radars was part of the 2020-2023 Brazilian Army Strategic Plan - the first two have been delivered with four more to follow.