BAE Systems to Upgrade M88A1 into HERCULES Heavy Recovery Vehicles

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A U.S. Marine Corps M88A2 Hercules Recovery Vehicle assigned to Mobile Assault Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, enters the main staging area for units supporting Operation Dynamic Partnership in Shurakay, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 9, 2013. (Photo: Cpl. Alejandro Pena, USMC)
Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion use an M88A2 Hercules to recover an M88A1 after getting stuck in a mud patch, March 16, 2011
Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion use an M88A2 Hercules to recover another M88A2 after getting stuck in a mud patch, March 16, 2011

BAE Systems received a $28.7 million contract to upgrade 11 M88A1 Medium Recovery vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (HERCULES) configuration. HERCULES is the improved recovery system of choice for today’s 70-ton combat vehicles. To date, 575 HERCULES vehicles have been fielded against an overall U.S. Army requirement of 632 vehicles, and a total of 84 vehicles have been fielded to the U.S. Marine Corps. The award brings the total value of U.S. Government contracts that BAE Systems has been awarded on the HERCULES program to $2.1 billion.

“This contract demonstrates the continued need to invest in the HERCULES and shows the Army’s commitment to the irreplaceable role it serves.” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager or Armored Combat Systems at BAE Systems. The upgrade work will be performed by the existing workforce at BAE Systems operations in York, Pennsylvania and Aiken, South Carolina. The contract was awarded by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command with deliveries to conclude in March 2014.

The M88 plays a critical role the company’s campaign to maintain the Bradley Industrial Base by protecting the affordability of the Army’s combat vehicles. BAE Systems’ York facility is responsible for four of the five U.S. Army Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) vehicles, including the Bradley and the M88. In addition to proposing that Congress provide base level investment in critical combat vehicle improvements, BAE Systems is working with the Army to secure increased funding for the M88 program to help carry the workload at the facility.

The M88A2 HERCULES offers operational and logistics commonality with the existing M88A1 fleet, which provides simplified training and parts availability benefits to the end-user. Key upgrades for the HERCULES include: improved power-assisted braking, steering, winching, hoisting, and increased horsepower. HERCULES has the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system, answering the need for cost-effective, self-supporting heavy recovery performance. The M88A2 provides unparalleled capability for recovering today’s 70-ton combat vehicles including the M1A1, M1A2, Leopard MBT, bridging systems, and other medium weight vehicles.

A U.S. Marine Corps M88A2 Hercules Recovery Vehicle assigned to Mobile Assault Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, enters the main staging area for units supporting Operation Dynamic Partnership in Shurakay, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 9, 2013. (Photo: Cpl. Alejandro Pena, USMC)
A U.S. Marine Corps M88A2 Hercules Recovery Vehicle assigned to Mobile Assault Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, enters the main staging area for units supporting Operation Dynamic Partnership in Shurakay, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 9, 2013. (Photo: Cpl. Alejandro Pena, USMC)