BAE Systems to upgrade additional M88A1 vehicles
BAE Systems will upgrade additional M88A1 Medium Recovery vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (HERCULES) configuration under a $28.7 million contract from the US armed forces.
The contract will see the company convert 11 M88A1 vehicles into the HERCULES configuration. The M88A2 offers operational and logistical commonality with the existing M88A1 fleet, providing simplified training and parts availability benefits.
The upgrade work will bring the vehicles improved power-assisted braking, steering, winching, hoisting, and increased horsepower; and according to the company, HERCULES has the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system, bringing users cost-effective, self-supporting heavy recovery capabilities.
Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager for Armored Combat Systems at BAE Systems, said: ’The M88A2 is able to hoist and tow twice the weight than that of an M88A1, including an M1 Abrams tank, and is an essential component in helping our armed forces to fulfil successful recovery missions. This contract demonstrates the continued need to invest in the HERCULES and shows the army’s commitment to the irreplaceable role it serves.’
To date, 575 HERCULES vehicles have been fielded against an overall US Army requirement of 632 vehicles, and a total of 84 vehicles have been fielded to the US Marine Corps. Vehicles upgraded under this contract, awarded by the US Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, are scheduled to be complete by March 2014.
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