WARREN, Mich., 25 April 2013. BAE Systems Land and Armaments L.P. in York, Pa., won a $28.7 million contract modification from the U.S. Army Tuesday to build M88A2 Hercules heavy equipment recovery combat utility lift and evacuation system vehicles.
The M88A2 armored combat vehicle essentially is combination battlefield armored tow truck and crane designed to recover damaged armored vehicles like the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Stryker wheeled vehicle, and the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
The M88A2 recovery vehicle and its vetronics package is one of the largest all-weather armored recovery vehicles (ARV) in the Army inventory. It's based on the M60 Patton tank chassis and weighs 63.5 tons. The vehicle is able to tow the 70-ton Abrams tank on slopes and in muddy conditions.
There are three variants, of which the M88A2 Hercules is the largest. The Hercules, a tracked vehicle, can move as fast as 25 miles per hour, with improved braking and steering.
The Hercules also has armored track skirts and applique armor panels, as well as nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) defenses and a smoke screen generator. The vehicle has a crew of three.
Tuesday's contract action is a modification of a contract awarded to BAE Systems in July 2011 worth $165.5 million and calling for 43 heavy equipment recovery combat utility life evacuation system recovery vehicles. Awarding the contract were officials of the Army Contracting Command in Warren, Mich.