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.
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